We all have a “Saturday Night Live”-like opinion about our music. We associate ourselves, just as we did with our favorite SNL cast, with music that connected with us. We will argue into the ground that this lineup was the best; that everything leading up to this point was simply “influence” and everything afterwards “just isn’t the same”. The one thing that cannot be argued, however, is that each generation has an unyielding opinion about “their cast/music.” This inevitably leads to the never-ending discussion about which is better.
Whether recognized as the one of the greatest living guitarists, by selling out shows around the world, or by teaming with the late great Jeff Buckley, Gary Lucas’ ability to continuously weave hypnotic riffs with inspiring melodies withstand the test of time. This is exemplified with the upcoming release of The Ordeal of Civility.
Lucas has once again teamed up with indie psych-rock super group Gods & Monsters on their forthcoming album.
In a career that has spanned several decades Gods & Monsters deliver a fantastic mixture of sound that brings a smile to your face while you discover the sounds you thought you’d forgotten.
“Hot and Cold Everything” drives a funky saxophone infused jam into a crowd of electronic mind-blowing guitar solo rock. “Whirlygig” offers a rocking organ-meets-slide guitar little ditty sure to get your feet tappin. Across the board, we’re faced with quality lyrics met face-to-face by a very talented group of musicians.
As a fan of primarily guitar driven album, I’ve come to quickly cherish The Ordeal of Civility. It is as though I’ve just come across a blanket that has reminded me of my childhood. The safe, secure feeling exuded by “Lady of Shalott”, in all of its David Gilmour-like grandeur, clings to my subconscious like fond memories from my past.
In a world where it’s far too easy to jump from album to album and pop band to pop band, we need to be thankful for releases such as this. Unfortunately, they don’t come often enough.
I’ve found myself actually struggling to find a comparable sound. Just as I begin to find a similarity, it’s promptly thrown down another avenue, keeping only the common denominator of clean strokes and thought provoking subject. Vocally it seems a mixture of Lou Reed, Van Morrison, and faintly Dr. John. When you reach “Depression” it’s almost like you’re being tossed into a Mojo Nixon song, only intellectual rather than crude.
Suddenly I’m struck with the realization that I’ve never honestly noticed Gary Lucas, yet heard him many places. With a sound spanning the realms of David Gilmour; Lou Reed; and Van Morrison; a career stretching even greater lengths, and a talent for compilation hardly rivaled by modern guitarists, this world class artist is sure to be revered for a long time. Regardless of which generation you stand up to defend, it is undeniable that this album is sure to carry forth a great sound which should be recognized by all it touches.
On May 7th, 2011, for The Ordeal of Civility release party, Gary Lucas will be playing with Gods and Monsters at Brooklyn’s Knitting Factory before leaving for Europe on tour.