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Gods and Monsters

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Album Review

There was no need for Gary Lucas to make an album just to prove that he could play everything from folk ditties to bebop and rap, but on Gods and Monsters he came pretty close to doing just that. The album starts off with a pair of cheery acoustic pieces that are relatively simple except for the nervous, jittery guitar lines. From there on things get more complex and generally harder, with more edgy original tunes and covers of tunes by Miles Davis, Suicide, and Syd Barrett. Psychedelia and blues influences thread through almost every piece, and Lucas' own style is distinctive enough to make almost every piece his own. Most of the album is excellent indeed; standout tracks include the bright, acoustic "Fool's Cap," the terrifying version of "Astronomy Domine," and the extraordinary progressive metal jam that closes the album. The only dud track, "The Crazy Ray," suffers from being ordinary and overlong in the midst of an album of work that is extraordinary and concise.

Biography

Born: 1952 in Syracuse, NY

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

When Gary Lucas was nine, his dad suggested he take up playing the guitar. Although he followed his dad's suggestion, Lucas focused more on the French horn that he played for his elementary-school band, and continued to play that instrument until getting kicked out of his high-school band. Lucas then focused wholly on the guitar, and played in various groups throughout the '60s. As a campus station music director during his second year at Yale, Lucas saw Captain Beefheart in concert and immediately...
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Gods and Monsters, Gary Lucas
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