Blood Half Moon
Scott Lucas and the Married Men
Release Date: Jun 05, 12
Scott Lucas and The Married Men came to be several years ago when Lucas, member of Chicago rock band Local H, had written songs in an effort to win back his girlfriend. Well, after recruiting members from various bands, an album came from it, then an EP, and very loud live shows. Blood Half Moon is the band’s second full length album.
Taking a departure from his past content with The Married Men recordings, Scott Lucas begins Blood Half Moon down the road and around the bend, so to speak. The heaviness is still there. The gnarliness remains. But Blood Half Moon breathes different air than its predecessors. The opening track, “Lover, A Lullaby,” creeps in with a Western feel, then begins to sprawl over the terrain, setting a tone for the rest of the album. What is similar to the rest of the band’s catalog is the sense of timelessness to their music. A part of that comes in the patience each track has. “Blood Half Moons” just breathes loud enough for you to hear its heartbeat. It’s got an early Bruce Springsteen kick to it. And the lyrics pace themselves against the melody: “Curled up tight, cocooned on the ground. A whiskey trail you left in the sand. From your canteen you follow it out, of your mind. Dead blind.” This is one of those songs of summer that aren’t so obviously summer. On second thought, the entire album is.
“Steady Gaze” is great in that it’s honest in its ambitions as an infatuation laden song. It snaps really loudly, adding a new sensibility to songs of its kind. This supports the claim that Blood Half Moon is more so an adult album. You can hear it in the way it is presented, very strong in intention, seasoned in execution. Some of it is triumphant, while others are tragic. And throughout each track, the scope of ambition doesn’t seem to change. It says a lot for a band to be this ambitious without getting too far ahead of themselves.
“Out Of the Boat” is likely the standout moment of the album. It tip toes in, as would a giant. Then without shouting, Lucas belts in, making his presence felt. From there the band just creates space until the anthemic, “You don’t know how to feel. You change your mind. You freeze in time. It’s unreal.” And the way the lyrics alter throughout as the song progresses is brilliant. It’s subtle, conversational. The album could have ended there but it takes another breath of air for the final two tracks, exhausting in a good way, similar to a good workout. “Heavy Lidded Love” is a unique song about a cancer victim. And the closing “There Ain’t No Grave (Gonna Hold My Body Down)” thunders and thuds till the finish.