This Uncle Lucius article was written by Matt Shore, a GIGsoup contributor. Edited by Zara Heath.
With a UK tour commencing January 21st, we cast the spotlight on the latest album from Austin based band, Uncle Lucius. Their fourth release, ‘The Light’ is rooted in southern rock and country, but with hints of blues and indie undertones.
‘The Light’ starts with it’s title track, a solid intro to the album with a strong vocal performance that instantly captures your attention. The next two songs are of a similar style, and the trio present a smooth, accomplished beginning steeped in southern rock influence. The excellent and varied use of instruments compliment front-man Kevin Galloway’s vocals, and provides a strong start.
One song worthy of note is the country infused third track, ‘Taking in the View.’ The song has a gentle nature, perfect for the casual listener, and this compliments an interesting use of instruments, especially prominent in the intro, which lasts nearly one and a half minutes. This creates a feeling of experimentation, and gives the sense that Uncle Lucius has approached this album with a sense of freedom. Indeed, their website reports that they celebrated their independence from their record label: “Most bands celebrate a long-awaited record deal. Uncle Lucius saved the champagne for when they got out of theirs.” ‘Taking in the View’ also quotes The Beatles: “Eleanor Rigby picks up the rice in a church where a wedding has been,” and Ray Charles: “I’ve got a woman over town who is good to me,” adding to this feeling of freedom and experimentation, while hinting at their own eclectic music taste, something that comes across throughout.
This freedom continues in the form of the album’s fourth song, ‘Ouroboros,’ a slightly different and unexpected change in style from the previous tracks. Its more polished feel, bluesy rock riff and powerful drums are an indication as to the versatility of Uncle Lucius, as are some of the other songs on the album. The reflective ‘No Time Flat’ and ‘Wheels in Motion’ present a more emotional side to ‘The Light,’ while songs such as ‘Flood Then Fade Away’ and ‘Don’t Own The right’ contain catchy end sections.
Despite this, the album still refers back to a similar format for most of its songs, creating a sense of repetitiveness half way through. This is saved however, by the final two songs, showcasing a thought provoking set of lyrics in ‘Nothing To Save,’ and an up-tempo, bluesy ‘Someday is a Far Cry,’ arguably one of the stand-out tracks from the album.
Overall, the freedom with which Uncle Lucius have approached ‘The Light’ has resulted in an album which caters to many a listener. Guitarist Mike Carpenter comments that it is “Southern rock for the thinking man,” a statement that perfectly sums up the band’s fourth outing. The casual, cheery soft rock and country styles compliment the grittier, more emotional tracks, and create a vibe different to the usual country offering. The accomplished and varied use of instruments add to this, and the strong vocals and meaningful lyrics warrant repeated plays. Coupled with their upcoming UK tour, ‘The Light’ could herald a major breakthrough for Uncle Lucius, and may serve as an example of what happens when a band is given freedom to work.