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Album Review: LUC’s Glow EP

LUC’s debut weaves fuzzy garage rock, vintage electronics, and pop sensibilities into one package.

Kevin Ashley

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Yes, I know that an EP is not an album, but the precedent has already been set. This time, I am reviewing LUC’s Glow EP.

LUC is a garage rock/electronic duo from Los Angeles, California, consisting of Kari Kimmel (vocalist, songwriter) and Joe Corcoran (all instruments, production). Kimmel and Corcoran are both famous in their own right, with them participating on multiple gold and platinum selling albums, as well as film scores and TV shows. The EP, Glow, is LUC’s first release, and features six songs.

“Glow” opens up with a steady beat, and an appropriately fuzzy guitar riff that makes you move compulsively. Kimmel’s vocals are both pop and indie at the same time, and the vintage-sounding electronics contribute nicely. Around 1:19, the rhythm briefly kicks into high gear with an added electronic line, before heading back to the original bass-y riff and beat. At 2:21, the track takes a calm break before fading back in. There’s a nice reverbed guitar solo as well. “Glow” is the perfect showcase of LUC’s advertised sound.

“Over It” is more of a straight forward pop-rock song, peppered with exclamations of “hey” and “na na na”, as well as featuring a clever swear word self-censoring moment. Short and simple, this should do well with radio listeners. It’s too poppy for me, though.

“Extraverdant” features a cool and calm guitar line filled with reverb, and Kimmel’s vocals are spaced out. There’s still the poppy feel, but it’s restrained to a point where it works with the song. There’s a mild space rock vibe to it, which lends it some good atmosphere. This is the best track so far, I hope there’s more on the EP like this.

“Ghost” opens with some interesting wooden percussion and a fuzzy guitar riff, giving me the same vibe as The White Stripe’s “Seven Nation Army”. This song is definitely leaning towards the harder rock side, but the electronics briefly take over at 2:54. The guitar disappears for a short time, and resurges to finish the song. Pretty decent.

“Running Down the Halls” comes in with a repeating up-and-down synth line, before the drumming and guitar appears. There’s a tambourine in the background too, which was a little surprising. This one is also poppy, more along the lines of indie pop than mainstream pop. However, it’s still too far into the pop zone for my tastes.

The last song, “Lost in Love”, features a slow guitar note pattern, opening into prominent, buzzing synth chords and very slow drumming. Kimmel’s vocals and the space vibe from “Extraverdant” are back, with the song ending on a very good note of synths and guitar white noise. This one manages to pull ahead of “Extraverdant” in my favorite department.

LUC’s Glow is shows how effectively differing elements can combine into a single cohesive whole. The rock and electronica, indie and pop elements form an experience that appeals to many, while the experimental touches will be noticed by more engaged listeners. Though two songs were too much on the poppy side for me, I liked the other four, making this a solid release.

If you obsess over singers and bands, and are one of those people who make a playlist for every occasion, join CMN’s Music Journalism Course and get real-time experience, intense feedback on your writing, exposure to music industry insiders, and a great place to display build your portfolio. Get all the details on the Music Journalism Course here.

Kevin is a graduate from Central Washington University, where he was awarded a Bachelors degree in Professional and Creative Writing. He currently lives in Silverdale, Washington, where he explores new food and drink, goes to concerts, and works on personal projects.

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