By Adam Lovinus
By Lilledeshan Bose
By Gabriel San Roman
By Rachel Mattice
By Stephanie Zacharek
By Daniel Kohn
By Nate Jackson
By Mike Seeley
You’d assume it’s led by some guy named Stanley Lucas, right? But Stanley Lucas is a fictional character, afflicted with a terminal illness (the specific condition doesn’t seem to be important, but it’s a prominent motif in several songs). Though the artist behind stanleylucasrevolution performs live (usually as a one-man-band with backing loops), he prefers not to be named or depicted in the media, instead asking outlets to run “abstract images representing larger causes.” It’s rock meeting conceptual art in a way not usually seen outside the Lou Reed-Laurie Anderson marriage.
The music itself is more conventional than you’d believe. Evolutionary Sunset Call, the latest stanleylucasrevolution release, features such surprisingly catchy songs as the social commentary-filled “We Still Love Them” and “New Stone 40.” Sure, there’s plenty of weird stuff, too, such as “(Intro in C),” 42 seconds of seemingly random noises in the middle of the album. “Two Ways” starts with the same creepy voice sample (“What’s the matter with you, thought you were asleep”) repeated several times, followed by a dramatically slowed track with overdubbed vocals.
Given the potential as a singer and songwriter shown throughout the album, the prevailing question is if all this is a distraction preventing stanleylucasrevolution from further success, or the exact thing that distinguishes the “band” from the myriad more accessible acts out there. Evolutionary Sunset Call might not be enough to arrive at a definitive answer, but points have to be given for originality. There are a lot of ideas at work here, both musically and aesthetically. Like any piece of conceptual art, it’s more about forcing you to think in a different way than the end product. And if the end product has some good hooks, all the better.
stanleylucasrevolution perform at eVocal, 814 W. 19th St., Costa Mesa, (949) 642-4548. Sat., 9 p.m. Visit www.myspace.com/stanleylucasrevolution for more information.
Attention Orange County/Long Beach musicians and bands! Mail your music, along with your vital contact info and decent high-resolution photos (plus any impending performance dates) for possible review to: Locals Only, OC Weekly, 1666 N. Main St., Ste. 500, Santa Ana, CA 92701. Or just be lazy and e-mail your MySpace link to firstname.lastname@example.org.