Published on 5th January 2022
Lucid Planet – Lucid Planet II [vinyl release]
Lucid Planet are a 100% independent self-funded band from Australia. As they have stated, this allows “an unparalleled level of freedom and creativity with our music and direction”, and Wow, have they got that right. This album was released in December 2021 and was reviewed for TPA by my colleague Nick Hudson (you can read his review Here) who expertly detailed the fine music contained within.
So why review it again?
Well the band’s aim has always been to release their “flagship album” in the full-fidelity listening experience of the vinyl format, and with this in mind they also wished to create an album package that enhances the listening experience. It’s this package that will be the focus of this review, and hopefully you will read it alongside Nick’s detailed review of the music.
What is contained within this vinyl release? Hopefully I can create a good image of what you can expect. On opening you realise that this is more than just another LP issue; it’s well packed containing a number of non-standard features. Of course, the double vinyl sleeve has the most wonderful artwork by David Faulkner (Mr. Crystalface), there are also nine art cards; one with the band’s logo, the others featuring the lyrics for each of the eight songs. There’s an artwork sticker, which is about 4”x 3”, a couple of business cards with artwork and information, a thank you note from the band, and lastly, a joss stick (and a very nice fragrance it is too!). The LP itself is on good weight vinyl, each one in a protective wrap within a cardboard sleeve decorated with further excellent artwork.
I have always been a fan of the vinyl format, from the lossless sound quality to the warm organic feel, but it is sometimes difficult to convince people of the pleasure of this format. That said, this release goes a long way to further strengthen my conviction in the format, and it will hopefully do the same for others.
The sound quality is very clear and precise with excellent balance between the instruments, which demonstrates some excellent mixing and mastering. The bass is punchy with clear and precise drum patterns; the vocals are out there but do not dominate, sitting well in the mix. The balance is very good, allowing room for all instruments to shine. This is important as the inclusion of didgeridoo, flutes and violin need to be heard.
The band’s musical focus involves a heavier psychedelic feel, along with progressive metal/rock and some great tribal influences. This is well demonstrated on the opening (and longest) track, Anamnesis, the ambient start followed by the band getting into a wonderful full-on rhythm, all the detail clear and sharp with excellent balance, providing a perfect example of what this band do throughout the rest of the album.
The quality and clarity of sound continues throughout the whole album, the mix ensuring the subtle nuances contained within the music can be clearly heard to make for a wonderful listening experience, repeated plays revealing further layers. Along with the sound quality, the listening experience is further enhanced by the inclusion of the lyrics to each song on the art cards, which are a generous 12” x 7”, making then easy to read (especially for my ageing eyes!).
The band have created a wonderful package with interesting features and an excellent, dynamic sound quality – this is how vinyl releases should be done. It is clear that a lot of thought has gone into this to create the best package they can for their fans, and they have certainly achieved that. It’s a dramatic improvement on the download, so if you are a vinyl fan, give it a try. I don’t think you will be disappointed, I know I wasn’t. In fact, I enjoyed every second of it.
01. Anamnesis (12:24)
02. Entrancement (5:33)
03. Organic Hard Drive (9:38)
04. Offer (4:14)
05. On the Way (9:37)
06. Digital Ritual (4:14)
07. Face the Sun (11:48)
08. Zenith (9:55)
Total Time – 68:06
Michael Box – Guitar
Darcy Rank – Guitar, Synth
Luke Turner – Vocals, Bass
Chris Cameron – Drums & Percussion
Jade Alice – Vocals
Daniel Richardson – Didgeridoo, Flute
Dan Samways – Flute
Emir Khosrowshahi – Flute
Clare Lynch – Violin
Record Label: Independent
Country of Origin: Australia
Date of Release: 5th November 2021 (original album release 14th November 2020)