Lux Lisbon, one of the first bands to really catch my attention at The Sixty One, makes infectious pop rock. Their mini album is called 'When I Hear The Culture I Reach For My Revolver', four tracks of monumental epic guitar rock. Their bio on The Sixty One declares a clarion-call guitar sound (a clarion-call is a powerful request for action or an irresistible mandate). They're pretty spot on with that assessment. The sound erupts with a confidence that you don't often see in a band's first release.
I've been listening to the album on my iPod on morning walks and it definitely gets the blood flowing. Track 1, 'Plastic Lullaby' has a luscious jangly guitar sound, reminiscent of U2, with beautiful boy/girl harmonizing. Stuart Rooks vocals take off in the chorus and I caught myself singing along after just a couple of listens. Total ear candy.
'Poppy Fields', the second track, has been some compared made to the chorus of U2's 'City of Blinding Lights' because the line "Oh you are so beautiful tonight". Yes, they're the same words, said in a similar manner and I do hear some U2 influence in their music. However, my take, it's a completely different song. I mean, how many songs are titles 'All I need?' I was thinking about that on my morning walk yesterday when Radiohead's All I Need came on. It got me thinking about Jack Wagner's sappy song with the same title. Air, Fat Joe, Matchbox 20, Amerie and probably 1000 other bands have songs of the same title, but I digress... 'Poppy Fields' is a fantastic song.
'Cherry Blossom Tree' is a sweet, softer song, just as the title suggests, but the guitars get going in the solo and the song crescendos into a grandiose spacious sound. It's another song fromt the album that lodges firmly in your brain and you can't get it out of your head (but do you want to?!)
'Animals' has great hooks and lyrics, but it is so steady and rocking that you're almost tired after hearing it! OneMonkey of The Sixty One commented that "You need to check your pulse!" True true.
The final track 'Sunflower' is in the same vein Rob Thomas sound, a mid-tempo pop-rock that really shows off Rook's flourishing vocals.
Technically, all of the musicians play tightly and it's obvious that they've pushed themselves in their craft. Stuart Rooks vocals are always powerful and emotive, allowing him to sing both the ballads and the more rockin' music with equal skill. The band has clearly found their own distinctive sound and if they can get the exposure, they could be chart toppers.
What I don't get is the title of the album, When I Hear The Culture I Reach For My Revolver. I should have asked them about this in the interview. Is it a commentary on the bad music that is so popular and pushed by the RIAA (like the 'New country' genre that I so loathe)? Is it some statement about gun culture?
Experts say that music with exercise boosts brain power. The extra cerebral assistance obviously hasn't helped me figure out the meaning of the album title, but it certainly keeps me from getting bored and quitting my exercise routine early. My only complaint is that five tracks clock in at just over 20 minutes and it's simply not long enough to satisfy my needs. It's finished just as I'm completely into the groove. Gimme more, Lux Lisbon!
Lux Lisbon's mini album is available at iTunes.