LucidFer is a Croatian project band started in 2016, by Aleksandar Vrhovec, among his many projects, which include Acid Hags, Grinded Grin, and others. “Vol.2” is the band’s sophomore album, and alongside Vrhovec on guitars and piano, we’ll find Bojan Aleksić on vocals, Giò Maucieri on drums and Will Finch on bass. Aleksandar Vrhovec also mixed, produced and provided the cover artwork for the album. This is quite simply an excellent alternative rock album. I found the music not to be “overproduced” or “digitized”, which makes LucidFer sound like some kind of organic retro band with flavors of grunge, psychedelic and indie pop. The music is lush and multi-layered with plenty of depth to discover on each subsequent play. It is that type of great album that really grows on you each time you listen to it. I also enjoyed how the music in this album easily moves from dreamy and ethereal ballads in places, to heavy guitar sounds.
The overall recording and performance quality of “Vol.2” is completely astounding, I cannot believe it is not receiving more attention. All the songs are extremely well written, not a single one disappoint or fails to add to the flavor of the album as a whole. It is approachable without being underwhelming. In general the variety of styles found here is not what you would expect from an unsigned independent band. If LucidFer keep cutting records of this quality, soon they will be hard to ignore.
Stylistically LucidFer are diverse so I don’t want compare them with anybody because I think that is disrespectful even if it isn’t meant to be. You can make your own comparisons on listening to this album, but you’ll be hard pressed to find any one band, from the present era that sounds like LucidFer.
The band forges tons of melody, harmony, and the ability to write songs that flow cohesively from verse to chorus and bridge. You’ll probably have to go back to the sixties and seventies to find something that matches their melodic songs, while going back to the nineties will be enough, to find a similar rock attitude.
The minute you open with the harsh, grungy guitars of “Puzzle”, you realize this band adds a fresh and pure sound as opposed to the recycled music that has invaded us during the last decade. It is a track that obviously allows Aleksandar Vrhovec to show off his six-string skills.
“If I Ever” sonically takes a quick right turn, with a clean and jangly guitar sound propping up the resonating melodic vocals, courtesy of Bojan Aleksić, who is a strong focal point across this album. A beautiful piano intro drags in the otherworldly ballad, “The Sky River”, which will have you daydreaming to its whimsical sounds.
The pace picks up slightly with “Little Piece Of Doom”, before the moodier and edgier, “No Troubles” sets in. All of it is never anything less than intoxicating, heartfelt and effortless. The harmonious mid-tempo, “Remember Me”, takes things down another avenue entirely, and really shows off the depth of their songwriting and versatility.
This one shows of some tasteful drumming from Giò Maucieri, and tight bass playing by Will Finch, moreover it is completely radio-ready. “Daywalker” sees the band refine the exuberant jumble of indie-rock and grunge that characterize many of their best songs.
Bojan Aleksić is a powerhouse in terms of vocals, while sounding totally inviting in the final three tracks – “Time”, “With Me” and “On My Own” – which absolutely brings back the melodic sound of psychedelia, in the sixties. Thoughts of The Yardbyrds, The Doors and even The Moody Blues instantly come to mind.
If LucidFer’s ultimate goal has been to make music that echoes beyond the borderlines of Croatia, then they are well on their way to achieving that with this album. “Vol.2” is a perfect amalgam of LucidFer’s crafting sonic fingerprints blended with the band’s new material and development.