The Lucid Dream: The Deep End (Holy Are You ) - review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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The Lucid Dream

The Deep End

Holy Are You

Apr 21, 2021 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


If one band embodies the true meaning of psychedelia then the smart money is on Carlisle, England four-piece The Lucid Dream. At no point throughout their 13 years of existence have they stood still or settled into any specified formula. Instead, The Lucid Dream’s ongoing journey has been one of constant transformation and reinvention. Even to the point of being labelled “traitors” by some within the psych rock scene, something which the band recently turned on their detractors by launching a T-shirt emblazoned with the slogan “Psych Traitors.”

Yet in reality, their perennial evolution is something every musical group with any iota of ambition should aspire to, whether they fall under the psychedelic umbrella or otherwise. So, it shouldn’t come as any surprise to hear The Deep End sounds like nothing else they’ve released to date, whilst simultaneously being a record that could only come from the creative minds of a band with such an intrepid outlook when it comes to making music.

Written during the early part of 2019 then finished during the latter half of that year, while the COVID-19 pandemic may have halted The Deep End’s release schedule, it also provided an opportunity for its creators to reflect and take stock before unleashing their fifth long player into the world. Although The Deep End is comprised of only six pieces, clocking in at just under 45 minutes in total, there are no half measures taken and as a result, no stones left unturned.

Take opener “Coalescence,” for example, which is in 11 seconds short of 11 minutes. Similar in stature to the techno sounds embraced on The Deep End’s 2018 predecessor, Actualisation, it feels like the natural midpoint between The Shamen’s Phorward phase and Aphex Twin’s Drukqs. Built around a collage of Roland synths, live drums, and samples lifted from news bulletins throughout the year, its fusion of optimistic euphoria and dystopian horror makes for a heady introduction to The Lucid Dream’s ever expansive vision.

“CHI-03” follows suit in a similar vein, taking inspiration from ‘80s hip-hop and early ‘90s rave respectively. Better still is the all-genre mash up “Leave Me In the Dark,” where dub reggae, drum’n’bass, and jungle collide to create arguably The Lucid Dream’s boldest statement to date. Pushing the envelope unabatedly into brand new territories, it’s the sound of a band discovering new horizons then embracing them as their own.

“Fight to Survive” once again delves into early hip-hop and powerhouse rhythms for its influences, while the delirious “Sunrise” evokes the dawning of acid house and its second summer of love, eliciting the most maximum of highs before the inevitable comedown, which arrives in the shape of “High and Wild.” Itself clocking in at nearly nine and a half minutes, it’s arguably the most conventional “song” The Lucid Dream have recorded in years—similar in stature to Primal Scream’s “Keep Your Dreams” yet far more caustic, particularly in the present. Tagged onto the (deep) end of an album steeped in euphoria makes perfect sense, “High and Wild” provides a somber yet fitting climax to one of the more adventurous records you’re likely to hear all year. (www.facebook.com/theluciddream)

Author rating: 8/10

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Average reader rating: 8/10



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