Latest Review: “The rewards increase with repeated listening”
by on May 9, 2015 in Reviews

We want to thank Christopher Backeberg at Sonic Cathedral for the amazing review of our EP “Stasis”.

Check it out here (or read below):

Lucid Fly, from Los Angeles, are new to me. They’ve released two previous EPs. Currently they’re working on a full-length album for release in the northern spring of this year.

Going by the enjoyment I received from Stasis, a very short EP of three songs spanning only 15 minutes, I’ve heard enough to become a fan. That means I’ll be shopping for their first two EPs and nagging the band for a review copy of the album when it happens. Their style of crossover prog warms me in the same way that good female-fronted progressive metal does.

“Crossover progressive rock” is a fuzzy genre tag. It fits progressive rock colored by influences from other styles that might include pop, jazz and/or folk music. In the case of Lucid Fly, the other genre they blend with prog is alternative rock/metal. They do it with considerable artistry and enough depth and variation to make Stasis a worthy addition to my library.

The shortness of the three songs is characteristic of crossover prog. So is the comforting ease of the compositions, which are catchy and very tuneful. More intense types of prog often feature tracks that run to more than 20 minutes. However, with two of the songs on Stasis going over the five-minute mark, their songs would probably be too long for mainstream radio play. That doesn’t mean Lucid Fly are deliberately trying to be “non-commercial” (a misleading term… every band would like to make money!). On the contrary, it shows that the band is more concerned about giving complete expression to its music than with hitting your local station’s top twenty.

The compositions don’t follow the pop-rock formula of verse-chorus, verse-chorus. There’s nothing wrong with that kind of structure. Many metal bands use it. Prog bands are inclined not to be that rigid in their compositions and orchestration. The result of this on Stasis is a set of songs that weave themselves around varying time signatures and key changes. You’ll notice this particularly in the rhythm and drumming, which are satisfyingly unpredictable within each song.

The prog approach gives Stasis a more complex form and a more resonant, atmospheric feeling than you’d hear in pure alternative rock. By the same token, the integration of alt rock adds rich, resounding, metalesque riffs, sweet guitar solos and healthy doses of bass drum. Don’t be misled by your first listening to the EP. It’s more than pleasing enough to hold you, but the rewards increase with repeated listening. The EP requires that if you want to appreciate all the musical nuances.

The performances are all high-quality. The core of Lucid Fly is Nikki Layne on vocals and Doug Mecca on guitar. For Stasis they were joined by Aaron Ficca on drums. Mecca and Ficca generate multiple layers of overlapping and intertwining sound. Nikki Layne uses her mostly mid-range contralto beautifully to project emotion and sensitivity.

All three singles on this EP are lovely songs. If I were to pick one, it would most likely be What Winter Was Like. It’s so full of mood and expression that it could almost be art rock.

Rating: 8.5/10

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