THOSE AREN'T just plain-old-pop melodies My Bloody Valentine and its acolytes -- Lush, Ride, Pale Saints, Ultra Vivid Scene -- are abrading with their sandpaper guitars: They're lullabies. That's particularly obvious in the case of Lush, some of whose songs have been produced by Cocteau Twin Robin Guthrie and who sound more Cocteau-ish than ever on "Sweetness and Light."
This new British EP provides the first three songs on "Gala," a 15-track compilation disc that is the London quartet's first stateside release. Collecting the contents of the band's three British EPs plus a few alternate takes and an obscure Abba cover, "Hey Hey Helen," "Gala" finds Miki Berenyi and Emma Anderson's voices floating peacefully over the squalling racket made by their own guitars. The results can be -- as two of their cryptic songs titles have it -- "Bitter" or "Etheriel" -- but are best when they're both, which they usually are.
Lush music is not pop in the conventional verse-refrain-bridge sense -- in structure, it's more like the Cocteau's celestial snippets -- but like the best pop-rock, it has both sweetness and bite.
LUSH -- "Gala" (4AD/Reprise). Appearing Saturday at the 9:30 club.