LucidFer are a band who offer thoughtful, creatively structured songwriting in the form of a pop-rock-meets-grunge sort of musicality. The album Vol. 1, their debut, 18 months in the making, consists of ten songs that bring together the skill and energy of classic rock and roll, and the emotional intensity and truth of localized indie. This means you get to embrace these rock soundscapes entirely, as well as feel a closer connection to the musicians and the stories that unfold within.
The album is a lot more eclectic than most soft rock or grunge collections. Alone is the opener, the first of many songs that begins with weight and warmth yet ends up being an instantly recognisable piece with a hugely memorable hook. The concept is intriguing, it knocks at the door of those inner demons and provokes a particular way of thinking. Trail follows and the mood is a little more mellow here, though there’s a definite sense of melancholy still – a touch of those broken down, raw and acoustic moments from Nirvana or Smashing Pumpkins comes through.
Island In The Sun takes things in a completely different direction. The thickness of the music falls away, the leading voice steps forward, the scene set draws you in with imagery and poetry, and the melody is superb. There’s a notable level of space on this song, so each element takes its turn to shine – a powerful, characterful voice, effective harmonies, a fantastic guitar solo, all made to shine by once again brilliant structuring. This one is a definite highlight.
Seventh Seal is a beautiful song, the music falls away again to lay bare the central sentiment of the writing. The band are talented, thoughtful and expressive, and this shows in so any ways on this project. When the sound is big, it takes a little longer to catch the concept behind it, and some bands tend to hide behind that a lot of the time. In this case, the band are open to portraying every part of their approach to creativity, and there’s not a moment that disappoints. On the contrary, the further you get into the album, the closer and more connected you feel to the songs and the ideas they share with you.
Wrong Side mixes things up again, an Incubus-like approach to fusing rock with the more electronic side of musicianship introduces things with a touch of alternative style, setting up the ambiance well. The personal touch here is immense, the lyrics and the melody captivate instantly – the lines give the leading character a touch of vulnerability that again reinforces that humanity and realness that reaches out to be heard. The hook is huge again, and incredibly satisfying due to its contrast with the delicacy surrounding it. Structurally things continue to evolve throughout, keeping the LucidFer creative drive present and ever-impressive.
The soundscape that emerges for lonely has a blissfully dreamlike and almost psychedelic vibe about it. The reverb and the crash of the symbols set things up superbly. The melody that follows has a blues-rock swagger to it that fits perfectly at this point within the collection. Another personal highlight, the song is addictive and easy to listen to on repeat – the drop for the hook is huge; contrast flawlessly utilised yet again. Sailing follows and introduces a perfectly fitting, acoustic soundscape that lets you drift away on the waves of the story-line and the melody. There’s a consistent feeling throughout this album that a live show would be brilliant – ever changing, always interesting, always emotionally authentic; just generally an awesome experience. Those who have the opportunity should jump at the chance.
I Am The Sky keeps the brightness and joy alive musically, though the lyrics at first touch on regret or a longing for the past. The words feel both personal and accessible, relevant to all yet deeply honest at the very same time. The hook is much more poetic and vague, and this adds to the togetherness, the shared experience. Again, this gets better and better as it moves along, compelling you to listen intently and to learn the words quickly to feel more involved. A beautiful song.
The penultimate song of the album is the colourful and mildly chaotic I Rode With Death, a creatively free piano part contrasts with a cascading collection of electronic riffs. The story line that follows captivates in the same way as elsewhere, though on the whole there’s definitely something unique and unusual about the way this has been crafted. The concept of death suits the mood and madness of the music quite well.
No Faith is the finisher, a classic rock ambiance surrounds you, mellow and reflective – a peaceful though inspiring way to go out, and a moment of minimalism and space to allow you time to remember the songs that came to pass. The grit and passion in the leading voice here creates a stark contrast with the smoothness of the musicianship. A fantastic guitar solo drives the latter half of the track before things pause and reignite in the form of a delicate, joyful piano piece. It’s a powerful few minutes, a great final moment. All in all this is a stunning, satisfying new album from a talented, interesting band. Hopefully there’s a lot more to look forward to.
LucidFer are Aleksandar Vrhovec, Bojan Aleksić, Giò Maucieri, and Yaroslav Kiyashko The album has been released through the independent Croatian label Olde Scratch Records. Download it via Bandcamp. Find & follow LucidFer on Facebook & Soundcloud.