The first thing I thought to myself when listening to Scintilla by Lucent is that I would love to hear some vocals here. Don't get me wrong the instrumentation is pretty attractive. The distorted guitars often play cascading riffs that rock, the drums are a solid backbone and there are also some nice touches such as bells that are a nice element amongst the hard rock type vibe. The music is just so conducive to having vocals I felt like adding my own at points. This music is not like Explosions in the Sky or the millions of other instrumental rock bands that prefer no vocals. It’s hard to explain but you will notice as you listen that something seems to be lacking. So Lucent aka Joseph Nicely is a one-man band who just started this project in May 2013. According to his Bandcamp page he says Scintilla is a “a ‘mini-album’ to see if people like my style or not. This is the product of the past 3-4 weeks of writing and recording. Many of the parts were improvised as well.” I think a lot of people will like his style. The record production sounds great and he’s got some innate talent even though at times the music feels vacuous.
The first song we are presented with is “Ataraxia.” Immediately we are introduced to warm electric distorted guitar that with every change becomes harder and more aggressive. Within the first minute or so there are four changes. At around the 1:44 mark he breaks thing down a bit by omitting the bass. This was pleasant for a couple of seconds but he ends up dragging this on a bit too long. After some pretty distorted chords and bells we are back to where we started. The four-plus minutes packs a lot in. “Seafoam Green” starts off sounding like Rage Against The Machine and then transforms into standard hard rock. This song is his most technically impressive as he climbs scales with relative ease. With more changes than the first song it’s almost too much. I barely had any time to find a groove i liked before it was time for the next one. “Nineteen Years” is the best song on the EP. The song starts off just as hard as the previous two but around the halfway mark he decides to take his foot off the distortion pedal. He opts instead for delay and reverb making the bass more prevalent in the mix. I liked the change. It spiced things up a bit and showed his diversity.
Lucent has skill. Now I hope he takes this critique to heart and starts working on his next album.
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