New York City-based rock band Lonnieclaire is best known as an expressive independent rock band with a history going back over twenty years. The band recently released Livin' with a Ghost which is a five-song rock oriented EP.
The band mentions “The band’s sound could be interpreted as a collision of both grunge and roots rock, in other words: ‘garage Americana’.” I will say they do have a pretty original sound that was hard to pinpoint.
They open with “Rusty Hardware” which starts with a build on the drums, guitar and bass. The groove is funky but also off-kilter. It was an interesting combo. Once the verse comes the instrumental aspects simmer down to give way for the vocals. The vocals are enthusiastic and I liked the long atmospheric elements they were providing. Some of the vocals are a little off key but I thought it contributed well enough to the raw aspects of their sound. It’s a solid opener.
The title track “Livin' with a Ghost” begins with robust bass parts, drums and long synth pads. The song builds into the verse. There are multiple vocalists here but it was hard to tell if this was just one person doing multiple parts or not. Either way the vocals are well done and the tone and texture of the delivery was unique sounding. The vocalist sings “Grasp your flames / And keep the embers deep in your pocket. / Own your dreams and fill his casket with your flowers.” I really enjoyed what was happening with the guitar work around the two-and-a-half minute mark.
“Kick in the Ass” is a great one and an arguable highlight. The song is a little more straightforward but all the elements are in place for me to start to recognize their signature sound. The drums drive the song and the guitar was again very good. It reminded me of the band Dinosaur Jr.
“Senseless Circus” revolves around fuzzy guitars, a rocking beat and more of the garage rock style they mentioned. This song is more in the spirit of a band like Guided by Vocals. It’s wild and unhinged. There’s also a sense of rebellion to the music.
“Flock o' Fakes” was a little darker and I loved how this song started. They find their footing and rock out hard. The vocal melodies are infectious and I have to say these are some of the more original lyrics I have heard in recent memory. The vocalist sings “This broken saddle holds a hippie burnout mercenary / ready to disappear one last time into the dusty prairie / I just met a biker chick who smells like opium / I wanna be her friendly giant who says ‘Fe-Fi-Fo-Fum’.”
Overall, this was a fun EP. The songs were well written and you get the sense the band is having fun. Recommended.
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