The Lucid Dream
There's nothing in the water that helps explain Carlisle's The Lucid Dream except, perhaps, the idea that their geographic isolation offers few distractions, allowing them to focus on their music, free from the critical gaze of both media and scene peers. That dedication has paid off; the proof is evident in their second album, unafraid to elbow its way to the front ahead of more genteel contemporaries. Theirs is a darker psychedelia (Altamont, not Hyde Park), the industrial landscapes that illustrate their cover art (and the 'finishing time' klaxon that underpins 'The Darkest Day') suggesting it's the repetitive beat of heavy machinery, not wind chimes and bells that colours their margins. There is no sunshine in their love.
'Mona Lisa', the instrumental that opens proceedings hides a flicknife behind that smile. Propelled on a careering motorik rhythm, TLD prove they have no use for the soporific fringes of their genre, instead preferring the helter skelter of dirty speed and paranoia. That sinister edge continues with 'Cold Killer': they play fast, not stoned and while the touchstones are familiar, it's the violent psych of early The Telescopes that most comes to (fractured) mind. And while the vocal melodies pay an obvious debt to the stylings of Pete Kember and Jason Pierce, there's a pleasing determination to allow other influences to creep in (the self-explanatory 'Unchained Dub', the pop undercurrents of 'Unchained'). The lullaby-ish quality of 'You & I' jars a little but a freakish normality returns by close of play. Dare you close your eyes? The Lucid Dream are the best kind of nightmare.