Lucas Brode, guitarist of math rock band Hannibal Montana, is a constant workhorse in the New York math rock and free jazz scene. In addition to being the band leader of Hannibal Montana, he is in more projects that I can count, including collaborations with jazz veteran drummer Grant Weston (The Lounge Lizards, John Zorn) and influential drummer Kevin Shea (Storm & Stress, Coptic Light, Talibam!) as well as the improv duo Spying, and his own solo endeavors. Lucas’ new solo album entitled I Lick the Kerosene of Progress is a work that sounds focused, driven, and thoughtfully put together.
The music on I Lick the Kerosene of Progress sounds like later Ian Williams’ era Don Caballero mixed with Williams’ other 90’s band Storm & Stress with a dash of Steve Reich and minimalist composition thrown in for good measure. Much of the compositions almost seem classical, not as in it sounds like classical guitar, but as in the music could be arranged for a minimalist quartet with the amount of dense musical layering many of the pieces entail. There seems to be a constant battle in the contemporary math rock community on the current state of guitar tapping technique and whether it’s overdone, not used enough, and many people have many different opinions on the subject, and all I’ll say is this album is primarily based around the guitar tapping technique, but is done in a way that is hardly recognizable to most conventional guitar tapping found in math and post rock. Lucas also features a lot of West African rhythms in his writing and playing also brings Ian Williams style to mind and is about the only guitar tapping comparison that does this music justice.
An added element to the album is that, between the composed songs, Lucas has improvised and more ambient sounding interludes that flow the album together and the interludes give a more relaxed and almost Twin Peaks soundtrack kind of haunting vibe, which perfectly offsets the interlocking complexity and constant motion of the composed pieces. The music is lush and dense and if like the musical stylings of Ian Williams’ related projects or more contemporary artists like Yvette Young and New York bands like Slim Charles and Ishmael then this album will fit nicely in your music collection. Besides writing and playing all the music on the album, Lucas also did a bang up job handling the recording, mixing, and mastering duties as well. To top it off, the album also comes with an accompanying visual pamphlet/comic, brought to life by LA based illustrator & animator Ken Siu, features a panel for each track, as well as a lyrical representation of themes present in the music and images. If any album has Lucas Brode’s name attached to it, it’s worth taking the time to give it a listen.
Jazz, progressive rock, heavy, instrumental
Sounds A Tad Like
Don Caballero, Storm & Stress, Covet, Slim Charles