AMN Reviews: Lucas Brode – Vague Sense of Virtue [Cacophonous Revival CRR–003]

Lucas Brode’s Vague Sense of Virtue, out just a handful of days after autumn begins, is the perfect soundtrack for the season of long shadows. The album is a collection of seven tracks of duets for Brode’s electric guitar and Kevin Shea’s drums and percussion, enhanced by an atmospheric background wash of electronics and pre-recorded material. Although the music has a low-key warmth and timbral sensuality to it, at the same time it’s pervaded by an abstract melancholy. The title track, with its wistfully languid guitar melody and restless drumming, is typical of the album’s way of conveying a mood of expansive interiority. With the exception of some scattered and brief rapid runs of notes and an aggressively played and sonically distorted passage in the fifth track, Brode plays with an economy of means—three or four note motifs slowly expounded, bent, and varied with a reverb-laden, clear tone. Shea’s contribution is supportive and never overwhelming, and provides a subtle buoyancy where needed. Together they’ve made Vague Sense of Virtue a well-crafted sonic portrait of rumination and drifting emotions.

Daniel Barbiero

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