Los Angeles trio of cousins, Wake Up Lucid debut their first LP Feel It on August 7th. The album provides that scuzzy, bluesy rock that almost sounds like it belongs more in the Woodstock era than in today’s mashed up mess of musical mishaps. Their sound is a great revitalization of the classic riffs, heavy jams, and scratchy vocals that defined an era. As they say, history repeats itself, and it’s been far too long since this genre was reawakened.
First track and single “Feel It” beckons Jimi Hendrix’s foxiness in an all-out jam session. “You want to take it slow/I want to take you home” cries lead singer Ryan Baca over amped up guitar grooves and basement drum beats, a sound that can only be created by actually playing instruments.
However, while Wake Up Lucid seems to teleport back to the late 60s for inspiration, they also mix this vintage sound with a more modern vibe. Channeling another great rock legend, “Arms” and “Rising Tide” are The White Stripes but bassier. The simplicity of the guitar, bass, drums set up conveys a minimalist approach without skimping on the full sound.
The mastery of this three piece arrangement that is heard in “When I Come Around” reminds me of another stoner rock trio, Band of Skulls. Baca is in his own mind as he wrestles with choosing sides over stop-start funk. “Fame” has a bridge that focuses on the contributions of each instrument until building back up in layers.
“Drunk on Information” sounds like the band is based in Nashville, not LA, while “Facepaint” is edgy enough for a Brooklyn basement.
Scruffy, grungy blues at its finest, you really can’t ignore the hook in “Just Can’t Ignore.” This track is almost like something your parents listened to in their wild days, driving around going to shows in a beefed up, rusty pickup, or if you can’t imagine your parents like that, something that Hyde from That 70s Show would be jamming out to at the record store.
“Death Valley” puts the blues in blues rock and by this point in the album, you want to break out your tinted 60s glasses and tie-dye under your studded brown leather jacket.
Taking you back to high school, slight ballad “Where Are We Now” slows things down a bit, but maintains the intensity of the instrumentals.
Breaking into the voodoo, “Black Hair Woman” is festival ready with a fake-out intro and almost 2 and a half minutes of enthralling instrumental before cutting into raunchy vocals. This is one to mindlessly sway and dance to as you get lost in the fingerpicking and gritty riffs.
Overall, Wake Up Lucid’s sound is a collection of classic groove mixed with modern influence in order to reawaken the spirits of Woodstock and good old Southern rock and blues. I’m curious to see what their live set entails, and maybe even more curious to see what type of crowd they bring. But, nevertheless, if you want edgy, emotional rock and hints of the foggy festival past, break out your bellbottoms baby, and listen to this album.
Pre-order Feel It on Amazon MP3