REVIEWED: The Lucy Grays - "When Pluto Was a Planet" [EP], Prehistoric Records

The Lucy Grays
 Photo by Jordan Blackburn

This Halifax based six-piece outfit is currently on something of a hiatus, as they are off gallivanting across this wonderful country of ours and are slated to make their return in 2014 with their full length debut album.  There are members of the band who are currently working away in the studio laying down tracks in preparation for the Impending band reunion.   While fans of the band may have something of a wait for the new full length album, we still have When Pluto Was a Planet to chew on in the meantime. 

People have attempted to make comparisons of The Lucy Gray’s sound to bands such as Arcade Fire and Modest Mouse, and while both bands started out as indie darlings the comparisons should stop there as they don’t do anyone any fair justice.  If anything, a case could be made that there are some songs which may invoke visions of early Wintersleep, but the LG’s have forged a path for themselves which is wholly their own.  The complete tapestry of sound is such that it brings in Violins to round out the atmospheric vocals and haunting melodies, which complement the atypical guitar and drums. 
These 5 tracks showcase a wide breadth of stylistic influences, as the opening track “Silver Tongue” bears distinct East Coast markings and has a definite Celtic influence.  It’s a tune which is sure to resonate with crowds and would definitely grab their attention as it’s not a huge departure from the “East Coast Sound”.   Personally, the gem of the album is “Zombies” with its hauntingly seductive vibe that is taught and pulls you along with it, and it’s that smokiness which really adds to the sparseness.   It’s the first track I found kicking around my head after a few listens.     If I had to pick a track which would find its way to rock radio and turn some people onto the Lucy Gray’s, it would be “Monster Part A”.  It’s a track which has some great instrumental builds and a taught vocal which highlights the melodic crescendos.  This is the track which is most recognizable on the EP.    “Garden Gnomes” is something of a departure for the band, it’s more of a raucous track which stomps along nicely and is the easily the most rock centered track (and the most likely to draw Modest Mouse comparisons).   It’s a solid track, just not the most interesting.    “Monster Part B” is a nice companion piece which feels a bit wistful (think indie Blue Rodeo) and serves as a great outro to the record.
  

This is a great introduction to The Lucy Grays and makes me frustrated that I have to wait until late 2013/early 2014 to hear more.  This is a band I’ll be keeping my eye on and will be sure to catch when they return to grace the Halifax stages once more.  When Pluto Was a Planet is definitely something I would recommend. 

-Trevor Savory




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