Twenty Miles –  Lucid Ending (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

Making music is often a case of taking the references and influences from the past and moulding them into a new music sonic experience for a whole new generation. The comfortable sound of what has gone before and the newness of the present blended together to head towards a new and exciting future. And that certainly sums up Edmonton’s Lucid Ending. They take grungy, alt-rock riffs, a classic rock stance, lean heavily on the groove , work the melody and so create that perfect blend of “I remember” and “what if!”

There is a sweet spot that bands need to find, one that sits between freshness and familiarity. Go too far one way and you can loose potential fans in the drive to be too experimental, head off in the other direction and you run the risk of being merely plagiarists and plunderers. Rock music in particular needs to be more than reinventing the wheel and what Lucid Ending do is take what already works but update it with, to stretch the metaphor beyond what is strictly decorous, a good polish and maybe a new set of tires. And that is often enough, the functionality remains but it does so dressed in a unique sonic fashion, being both recognisably part of the pack but wonderfully individual too.

And Twenty Miles has a weight of rock history to back it up…relentless, underpinning guitar lines dressed with squalling riffs, and a rhythm section delivering confident and crushing beats and baselines that are happy to provide the platform that everything else can be built on…pretty much the text book definition of the instrument’s job. Throw in some gruff vocals, energy and drive and you have everything you expect from a modern rock track. 

In its sonic weaves you can hear everything from 70’s stadium excess, 80’s New Wave of British Heavy Metal regrouping, 90’s rock counter-culture and even the outside the box thinking of some of the nu-metal that saw us into the 21st century. Bands can only ever be a sum of their influences, even if they aren’t aware of everything that they are channelling, and Lucid Ending certainly know their rock history. But the art of it is, of course, to understand the past but write a new future and Twenty Miles sounds like exactly that, a forward-thinking take on past musical styles. After all, if it ain’t broke…

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