Lux Courageous- Reasons that Keep the Ground Near
Triple Crown Records
1. Concrete (Broadway)
2. Wearing Dangerous
3. Safe at Last
6. Everything You Wanted
7. Seatbelts are Saviours
8. Hey... It Just Feels Better
9. Prayer from the Priest
10. This Town
11. Barely Enough
13. What a Place to Find One’s Divinity
“Gotta get out of here!” Pervasive and potent, TJ Tepe yells out the ambitious opening sentiments of Lux Courageous’ new album, Reasons that Keep the Ground Near. For an instant you might be expecting a fast paced harder edged sound, but quite on the contrary soft eloquent piano notes chime in and the lyrics talk of closing eyes and sleep. Here in the first 30 seconds or the album reveals the contrast that Lux Courageous have perfected and dispensed throughout their new album, the ingenious blending of the raw and the delicate; two polar opposites that when mixed right can create a lovely and passionate sound. Those vehement first words crooned over soft acoustic guitar in the album opener “Concrete (Broadway)” immediately attest to this fact.
Through and throughout, TJ Tepe’s vocals are brilliantly desperate, often reminiscent of Jason Gleason or even John Nolan. With that being said, the album often sounds like the softer side of Jason Gleason era Further Seems Forever, or the louder side of Straylight Run. Take the song, “Irresistible,” for example. The intro and chorus sounds like something straight off of How to Start a Fire, while the somber verses in between and most definitely the piano laden breakdown could have easily fit in on Straylight Run’s debut. Despite these comparisons, Lux Courageous is in no way a rip off, they manage to pull it off in a style all their own, the mood and emotion is solely theirs.
The first four tracks all maintain a relatively congruent sound, but it is when you reach “Ambulance,” that you recognize the diversity of the band. On this track the verses flaunt a more indie, off beat direction, with quirky little guitar licks and bouncy drums before bringing the trademark sound back on the chorus. “Seatbelts and Saviors,” slows the album down somewhat and showcases some wonderfully soothing piano. The piano notes are used really effectively on the entire album, never conquering the song, only adding to the measure of beauty and desolation.
“Hey... It Just Feels Better,” displays an upbeat happier sound, with a really enjoyable bridge, but it was as I was listening to this track that I realized the something that was “missing” from the album. Lux Courageous have the ability to write a lot of really different and separately themed music but instead of taking a risk and making each track severely different, they always seem to go somewhat “safe” and bring the music back into what the rest of the songs sound like, which is mostly evident on the chorus. Not everyone will have a problem with this but I prefer an album where each song is more an individual piece of art, with its own intentions, otherwise songs tend to blend, making them hardly differentiable. This does not happen with Reasons that Keep the Ground Near, so much as with other albums, but take the song “Battles” for instance, you know when you’re listening to that song, despite the regular chorus. There should be more of that, each song needs a little more edge, a unique nuance.
All in all, Reasons that Keep the Ground Near is an excellent debut full length. With fervent vocals and multicolored guitar work guided by melodious piano and on target drumming, Lux Courageous has created a solid album from start to finish. Unfortunately there is a little lackluster in some songs, but that shouldn’t stop anyone from recognizing the impactful beauty and moving songwriting that is everpresent. Lux Courageous is one of those bands wiith unlimited potential, and Reasons that Keep the Ground Near is an astonishing album offering just about all you could ask for.