Play It Again Sam (label)
31 March 2014 (released)
19 April 2014
I suppose that Lucius may be reasonably happy that their album is not an easy one to place. Nothing on it really says ‘ah, it’s this or that, here’s your pigeonhole’ and that’s one of the real joys of the New Yorkers debut.
The title track opens the album, with the remarkable harmonies of Jess Wolfe and Holly Lassig, and an odd clip-clopping canter that brings to mind cheap western soundtracks, though that’s absorbed as the song progresses and builds. Then there’s the slight Country twang of Go Home, sitting happily with the poppy/AOR of Hey Doreen. Tempest fleetingly brought to mind ABBA. It’s an indication of the invention on this record and of a band that’s prepared to mix things up.
Nothing Ordinary certainly isn’t, with it’s off centre tribal rhythms and percussion, and a startling chorus that just whacks you around the head, it is a highlight of the album. The sauntering and pop sunny Until We Get There, and it’s running mate Don’t Just Sit There are probably the most immediate tracks on the album.
The closing brace of Monsters and How Loud Your Heart Gets get’s the album back on to the more avant-garde; the latter finishing off with a true epic, though like the rest of the album it’s never so out there that it’s gaga.
I’m not forced to label them, but let’s go with pop mainly because the melodies and general vibe of the album leans it that way, but there’s a hell of a lot going on here. In fact there are so many ideas that at times it sounds a trifle cluttered, though it’s a minor niggle. The band’s performances are first class throughout, and with Jess Wolfe and Holly Lassig’s stunning lead vocals they are a formidable talent.