Scott Lucas & the Married Men have released their first single off their forthcoming album, Blood Half Moon, for your listening pleasure. Head on over to AOL Spinner to download “Blood Half Moons”, a track Lucas said has “lyrics full of blood, crows and whiskey”, developed after driving around the desert for a couple of days.
Blood Half Moon will be out June 5th on The End Records, after which the band will be heading out on the road, playing a string of dates with Deer Tick.
Scott Lucas is best known as the singer/guitarist for the two-man, Chicago rock band Local H. But recently, he has broadened his musical scope and greatly expanded his lineup, pulling together a collective of musicians – the Married Men – that currently numbers seven and includes violin, accordion and organ. The result is quite different than Local H and a perfect fit for Lucas’ more personal, introspective songs. Reviewers have compared the band to American Music Club, the Waterboys and Lambchop. Lucas calls the group’s evolving sound “country-ish, alt-rock for people who like metal.”
“The more we played live, the louder the amps got. The louder the amps got….you get the idea. After a certain point, we quit fighting it and decided to get chocolate all over our peanut butter,” Lucas explains, describing how he merged the force and volume of Local H with the sensitive twang of the Married Men for the band’s second album. “It’s not like we’ve turned into Slayer or anything – we’ve just decided to embrace our dark side. And that goes for the lyrics, as well.”
Blood Half Moon (the End Records – June 2012), is distinctively darker, yet ultimately more optimistic than Scott Lucas & the Married Men’s previous records, which were often described as quiet and sad. From the searing violin and haunting organ on the opening track “Lover the Lullaby,” which Lucas cites as the song that marked the band’s turn toward a more commanding sound; to “Heavy Lidded Love,” an upbeat song about cancer and ODing; to the closing, scorching eight-minute rendition of the traditional “Ain’t No Grave (Can Hold My Body Down),” this album is HEAVY — figuratively and sonically. Its songs touch on endings, disappointment, betrayal, confusion, love, uncertainty and death.
“Even on, what you might call, the prettier songs – we let that darkness creep into the lyrics,” Lucas says. “‘There You Are’ has these delicate three-part harmonies, singing about graves and maggots. It’s like ‘Turn, Turn, Turn’ meets the Grim Reaper. For ‘Blood Half Moons’ – which is the closest I’ve ever gotten to a beautiful piece of music – I drove around in the desert for a couple of days and came back with lyrics full of blood, crows, and whiskey. And that dichotomy – the light of the music vs. the darkness of the lyrics – only serves to reinforce each other. It makes the songs seem MORE hopeful than if it was all flowers and babies. At least, to me.”
As they did with their first two releases, the Married Men engaged Andy Gerber (Smoking Popes, the Tossers, the Effigies) to produce Blood Half Moon and recorded it in their native Chicago. But instead of working exclusively in Gerber’s Million Yen Studios, they laid down the bulk of the record at Steve Albini’s Electrical Audio, bringing in engineer Greg Norman (Neurosis, Pinebender, Russian Circles) to assist. And, to infuse just the right amount of heaviness, they turned to metal guru Sanford Parker (Yakuza, Pelican, Bloodiest) to mix it.
Scott Lucas formed the Married Men in early 2009 out of a desire to record a batch of intensely personal songs he had written that didn’t feel like they belonged on a Local H album. Shortly after culling his backing band from a host of local indie acts — most notably the Tossers, Caviar and the Joy Poppers — Lucas and the Married Men recorded their first album, with fewer than a dozen live shows to their name. Their debut, George Lassos the Moon, was released in February 2010 and was followed by several tours. To showcase the band’s evolution after more time spent together playing live, they hit the studio again that summer, releasing The Absolute Beginners EP in October 2010. Though he has no intention of abandoning Local H, Lucas has also never considered the Married Men a one-off, side project. He plans to keep them both going simultaneously.
‘Blood Half Moon’ Tracklisting
- Lover The Lullaby
- Blood Half Moons
- Steady Gaze
- There You Are
- Old Worries
- Out Of The Boat
- Heavy Lidded Love
- There Ain’t No Grave (Gonna Hold My Body Down)
04/15 – Mercury Lounge – New York, NY (solo acoustic set- opening for Local H)
05/26 – Reverb Music Festival - Waterloo, IA
06/06 – The Aquarium – Fargo, ND *
06/07 – First Ave – Minneapolis, MN *
06/08 – Majestic Theater – Madison, WI *
06/09 – Metro – Chicago, IL *
06/10 – Magic Bag – Detroit, MI *
06/12 – O’Brien’s Pub – Allston, MA
06/13 – Red Palace – Washington, DC
06/14 – Mercury Lounge – New York, NY
06/16 – North Star Bar – Philadelphia, PA
* Deer Tick + Turbo Fruits
“In addition to his ability to craft indelible melodies, even when they’re delivered amid a wall of fuzz and thundering drums, one of Lucas’ strengths as a songwriter always has been a razor-sharp wit as a lyricist, coupled with a novelist’s eye for telling details. The Married Men showcase the latter in a different setting, amid sawing violins, sweeping piano lines, wheezing accordion and organ, and seductive acoustic guitar that welcome comparisons to the likes of American Music Club and Tindersticks.” –Jim DeRogatis, Pop N Stuff
“The Absolute Beginners EP is a nice snapshot of a band hitting its stride. The band’s debut album housed a collection of songs brimming with quiet strength, but the new EP showcases what a powerhouse the band has become as they’ve gradually built even more muscle onto the tunes.” –Jim Kopeny, Chicagoist
“…a massive wall of sound that is relentless live.” –Exploding in Sound