Lucius and Milo were born out of the creative student body at the University of Exeter with their initial album Helicon releasing on 7/22/2016. With only ten months as a band under their belt before recording their album, this foursome made considerable headway in establishing themselves as an up and coming band.
Two members of the band, Charles Pelham-Lane and Davide Scarpignato, were responsible for the majority of the songwriting of the five original songs on the album as well as most of the vocals. Each of the four members plays an instrument with Pelham-Lane on the keyboards, Scarpignato on guitar, Theo Stone on bass and Dom Ford on drums. With the songs mostly already written the band often comes together to draw inspiration from each other to fill in the gaps with a chorus or other missing piece of the finished product.
While they self describe their style as being modern alternative rock, their sound is much more classic rock than one might expect. There are times they seem to try to add a modern spin to the vocals but it can fall flat with too much of a falsetto. I found myself searching for portions of the album where they relaxed and dropped the falsetto for a more soulful sound.
The first song “Streets of London” had an authentic feel to it. The music was solid and classic with a well toned vocal. You could almost see the band walking the streets of London on a drizzling afternoon to this pure set of lyrics. The vocals were complemented by the guitar solos and keyboards alike.
The next song in line is “The Harvest” that slows down the pace of the album and lends a gentle transition. This song sounds like something you may hear in a coffee shop on a campus somewhere, a good song but not much to set it apart. The change in vocals left this song not as strong as the opening of the album.
“Ailinon" was the third song and this is where the falsetto really settles in. This was my least favorite song of the album and I found the falsetto forced and distracting. It was a stylistic risk that fell short in this song. At the midway point the instruments and vocals found a better balance that helped to at least partially save the song. The instrumental parts of this song were a much needed break from the vocals.
Coming in fourth on the album, “Muse” was a change of pace. The vocals returned to a less forced tone with a relaxed pace. This particular song reminded me of many of the grunge bands that made up the Seattle sound with a little less passion. The newness of the band may be showing at this point as there is a bit of feeling or passion missing from this song.
Rounding out the mix was “Pulse,” which was a great first attempt at a party anthem of sorts but it’s just not there yet. The addition of the echoed vocals in the form of all band members yelling took the song in a direction they may not have wanted to go. With their roots in a “Battle of the Bands” type competition, this song fit that bill. It would be great for live audience participation but I am not sure if it’s ready for wider play.
The inexperience of the band came through several times throughout this album, but so did their raw energy and underlying talents. If this is what a mere ten months brings out, I look forward with hope for their next efforts.
Become A Fan
We are dedicated to informing the public about the different types of independent music that is available for your listening pleasure as well as giving the artist a professional critique from a seasoned music geek. We critique a wide variety of niche genres like experimental, IDM, electronic, ambient, shoegaze and much more.
Are you one of our faithful visitors who enjoys our website? Like us on Facebook