Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Lucid Skies-Hounds


As more and more random band's and their random recordings find their way into (both) my virtual and my physical mailbox it gets harder and harder to figure out which ones to try to cover right now and which ones would be best left for another day. Yeah, yeah, I hear you all out there. I know it's a horrible thing to have to deal with having too much music on hand to listen to and review. But the key issue at stake here is trying to cover the better music that comes my way so I can share suggestions for cool new bands to discover and music that deserves to be heard! For some bands out there, especially new and up-and-coming bands, a few key words of description (good and bad) can open doors or shut them. Words can be damaging and perception verses reality tends to be a really tricky road to navigate. Lucid Skies are a case in point. If you were like me and all that you had to go by was the statement that "Lucid Skies  is a 4 piece metalcore band from Edmonton, Alberta" what would you think? Yay or nay? OK, now if I was to tell you that "Lucid Skies is a 4 piece hardcore band from Edmonton, Alberta that infuses their sound with metal and thrash influences" what would you say? If you are like me then chances are pretty good that you'd be more willing to give "Hounds" a listen based on the second description. Of course it's not as black and white as that as Lucid Skies is more hardcore, and classic hardcore at that, then metal and they are like a million miles removed from the whole mallcore/metalcore movement. But, the point is (or at least what I'm trying to get at here) that word descriptions can help or hurt and sometimes you have to roll the dice and take a chance. I did (admittedly) catch a break with this one as Under The Gun Review (link below) had previewed the group's one track, "Shotgun Mouthwash", before I had the time to get cracking on this four-track EP. You can hear that song here (http://www.underthegunreview.net/2013/11/05/utg-exclusive-stream-lucid-skies-shotgun-mouthwash/hardcore act) and yes, you do have to hear it to appreciate just how fast and furious things can get when classic hardcore takes a stab at some (heavy) thrash metal! In a way that song speaks volumes as to what you can expect out of this four piece band and I could have just shared that link from the get-go and just said "Listen to this and then buy this EP when it's released!". "Shotgun Mouthwash" is all the proof you need that Lucid Skies are the shit! The group was formed back in 2009 by guitarist Jesse Berger and in a market field with imitators it's something when you come face to face with real "bare-fisted and ready to rumble" hardcore just like we used to have (way) back in the day! Despite the throw-back/classic hardcore appeal of this young group, Lucid Skies is actually fronted by a lead singer (Nick Ogden) that sounds close to likes of Jamey Jasta (Hatebreed) so this is a band that has many different faces. Between guitarist Jesse Berger and lead vocalist Nick Ogden you have the perfect amount of "brothers united by the cause" chemistry/intensity. Add in the skills of bass player Sam Jackson and drummer Justin Smith and that makes Lucid Skies a serious threat of a band that is way more insane, forceful and drop-dead menacing then one can rightly picture. Disregard their mellow moniker obviously, but don't disregard how wicked "Hounds" is! implies! Lucid Skies brings to mind visions of everyone from Comeback Kid to Pantera (That is if Pantera had grown up listening to Agnostic Front!), but even so these four tear things up with a sound that more original then you initially realize until you've had the pleasure of streaming "Hounds" over and over! Due for release digitally on November 26, and serving as a bit of an appetizer for the group's next (supposedly) full-length release, "Hounds" is four-tracks of dead-serious hardcore (raw and street-ready) with an acknowledgement that metal influences can enhance your material without making you come across as some bland metalcore outfit or making your style way too indebted to 80's crossover. This one will be released pretty much everywhere from iTunes to Amazon (and even places like CD Baby) and it is not to be missed as it simply slays the dragon!!

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