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The Lucas Warren Project – The Road I Created (2021)

Bands inspired by the 70s and 80s rock scenes are rarely considered authentic, but The Lucas Warren Project is definitely an exception. Situated in Northern California, the duo made up of Lucas Warren and Brandon Hanson will take you back while also showing you their own take on progressive rock. Consisting of both hardcore and emotion-filled tracks that feature a variety of instruments, their debut album “The Road I Created” is a strong start for the duo: the quality of production alone is enough to prove this.

1. A Merrier World (1:42)

The first song of the album starts off with a melancholic harmony from the piano, followed by orchestration which adds on a dramatic effect. A guitar following the same progression with the piano is soon added, and the song suddenly spotlights an electric guitar. These fast additions make the song, which is quite short in terms of timing, very effective: having such an emotional tune is certainly a good way to prepare the listener for the more fast-paced and dynamic tunes. It’s safe to say that the first song showcases the production quality of the rest of the album and that it transitions perfectly to the heavier songs to come.

2. The Road I Created (4:38)

The title track is where the band’s style starts to really show. The inspirations drawn from the 70s and 80s rock scene can clearly be felt from the start of this second song as the repeating electric guitar riffs take the audience back. Heavy drumming and high-pitched vocals can become stale in some songs, however, the duo keeps the song interesting by switching tones on the 2:30 second mark. As the song picks up where it left after this drop, you may find yourself tapping your feet along to the beat, which soon grows on you.

3. Cruel to Me (4:15)

“Cruel to Me” is definitely a bit more emotional: there’s more emphasis on vocals and lyrics at certain intervals, more prolonged electric guitar riffs, while the vocals in the background all add to this atmosphere. The synthesizer patterns that are added later on, similar to what was done in the second song, spice the song up a bit to prevent it from becoming repetitive. It’s also worth mentioning that the vocals do a very good job in keeping the vintage feel of the song, all while keeping in sync with the riffs.

4. Assume Control (4:30)

The fourth song of the album starts with the air of a sci-fi movie with electronic sound effects. The electric guitar soon enters along with the drums, both of which are definitely more hardcore than the previous track: the electric guitar solo on the 2:50 minute mark shows the change from heartfelt to fast and angsty. The ability of the band to go both ways in terms of songwriting and style, without giving away from their own authentic sound, is evident from the different atmospheres they have created in the third and fourth tracks.

5. Blue Light (1:43)

“Blue Light” begins with a dark, ominous noise and is then continued with a bright, arpeggiated guitar with delay that juxtaposes this initial sound. This plain, relatively peaceful sound goes without much change except for a few embellishments and additional licks. The melody is calm and relaxing and soothes the listener’s ears after a few hard-hitting tracks. Functionally, this track is similar to the first track in the sense that they are both some kind of introduction. Essentially, “Blue Light” serves as a buffer zone in the album: it is a second beginning.

6. Knight Break Through (4:05)

As soon as it starts, “Knight Break Through” hits the listener with a powerful, in-your-face electric guitar riff which reminisces the listener of the second track. The riff continuously repeats until then interrupted for the beginning of the first verse. The vocals definitely share the same energy with the riff, but they are sung in such a heartfelt manner that they create a theatrical, epic feeling that synergies perfectly with the riff under. The original riff is then continued until the relieving solo section with dreamy, angelic guitar tones comes. The song ultimately settles down after the solo, and the chorus comes back to provide a satisfying conclusion to this great track.

7. Eyes of a Dream (5:31)

“Eyes of A Dream” initially introduces a vocal intro over a simple acoustic guitar riff, but this sound quickly evolves into the discernible, characteristic sound seen throughout the album when the electric guitar replaces the acoustic. The track sounds warmer and makes the listener feel relatively more elated compared to tracks in the album that share the same soundscape. That is, until the massive instrumental interlude hits. After the interlude darkens the atmosphere, the original, warmer riff comes back and the song is ultimately concluded when the same acoustic riff at the intro returns, accompanied by wailing vocals that produce a flavorful tension.

8. The End (1:24)

“The End” is the final track of the album, hence the name. The first half of the track consists of ambient noise mixed with real-life sounds such as static and music playing in the background. The second half of the track consists of energetic instrumentation, similar to what you would hear in a classic rock song. While the ending of the album is not entirely disappointing, the artist showcased such good songwriting and musicianship throughout the album that the final track seems somewhat pale, but we think that this is mainly because they set the bar high from the very start.

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