Welcome to my blog!

UPDATE: Mediafire have suspended my account and locked my downloads. Having endured the tedium of re-uploading everything I had previously hosted on Mega Upload onto Mediafire earlier this year, I can't be arsed re-uploading everything again.

So please don't ask for things to be reuploaded!

I undertake this venture knowing that I don't have the spare time to do it, but feel that these artists NEED TO BE HEARD (please excuse my shouting!). Or is that I think I need to be heard? Or that there are (or have been) some great music blogs that have inspired me to wanna jump on the bandwagon? Probably all of the above??I hope you enjoy the blog. If I turn one person onto these bands that turned me on then it will all have been worth it!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Lucid Ocean - Demo

Inspired by Rushbo's guide, and snippets from his band Little Red Schoolhouse's LP, I present a demo recorded by my old band Lucid Ocean for your entertainment/laughter (select as appropriate).

Being a music obsessive, I kept a (virtual) diary throughout my time in the band. And again, inspired by Rushbo, I'm thinking of unleashing this on the public. Whether there is any interest in the shenanigans of four misfits and their trials and tribulations on the path to early-nineties-indie-pop-nowheresville is another question?! The diaries have everything - sex, drugs, rock 'n' roll, bad hair, jealousy, hatred, borderline psychosis, unscrupulous music biz operators, local music rags questioning our moral fortitude....did I mention bad hair?

So onto the demo. It was recorded and mixed over a weekend at Tony Nesci's home studio, and sounds fantastic for a cheaply recorded demo. However, the sound clarity makes the limitations in Andrew's vocals all too obvious - we probably should have put him lower in the mix or drowned him out with reverb! IMHO our drummer Mark was the best indie drummer in Adelaide, and the drum sound showcases his abilities well. I was the sole guitarist in the band, and given that every other indie band had around two guitarists, I tended to overplay to compensate. I was also in the midst of my Ride-influenced guitar effects obsession, and this reduces the clarity of some of my playing.

The demo featured three of our best half dozen tracks. Our best track, Haunt, was recorded for an earlier demo, but all I have is the version I taped when it was first played on local radio station MMM (now 3D). I may make this available if there is any interest.

Flood is a six minute brooding atmospheric indie pop track. Mark's drums sound awesome. My guitar in the verses is far to busy - let's blame Johnny Marr! The spooky guitar effects in the middle worked well live but didn't cut it in the studio - no lights and dry ice there. As for the guitar solo, it was influenced by a certain heavy metal band from Birmingham, and IMHO works well in this context.

Autumn Color Haze is another atmospheric indie pop track, but this time at a faster clip. I think the guitar effects work well in this song, and Andrew's vocals work well.

This Peaceful Place is pure indie pop. It was one of our earliest songs, written on an acoustic guitar before my guitar effects obsession. And try as I may, I couldn't work my guitar effects or a guitar solo into the song without detracting from it! So it stayed pretty much the same as it was when written.

Circle She Is was my least favourite song. But everyone else liked it so I just had to accept it. The worst aspect about the song is that it often got us compared with Ned's Atomic Dustbin, who in my opinion were the most turgid piece-of-crap band in the entire fucking universe. I took the attitude that even if I disliked the song, I might as well enjoy what I played in it. I also use to play it with a guitar sound on the verge of feedback, and got some great sounds live. That aspect isn't really captured in this version, unfortunately.

The demo never had an official title. I always liked that idea of having a song with the pretentious title Anthem for the Estranged, and since there's noone here to argue with me I'm gonna adapt that for use as the demo title!

Lucid Ocean - 1992 - Anthems for the Estranged (demo)

01. Flood
02. Autumn Color Haze
03. This Peaceful Place
04. Circle She Is


  1. Well you did it, didn't you?

    Sounds pretty good Ralph. Your singer wasn't pitch perfect, but who was in the 90's? I loved that fuzzed up chorusy swirly sound you had going on. Yeah, let's blame Johnny Marr...I spent days trying to learn the intro to 'This Charming Man'...it only ever sounded like an ugly tangle of arpeggiated nonsense. As for the NEDs comparison - I blame your singer. As their home town (Stourbridge) is about 5 miles from where I sit typing this, I have to admit a mild admiration for some of their stuff, especially their last album 'Brainbloodvolume' which had some great moments.

    I quite like being an inspiration...does this mean I get a tax rebate?

    But you did it, didn't you? Ya put yer kree-hay-tee-vee-tee on the line and you came up smiling. I've got to say Ralph, that 'Anthems for the Estranged'by Lucid Ocean is one hell of an appellation! College students would come FLYING out to see you with a mane like that (probabbly with a slim volume of Camus or Gide in their back pocket). More power to yer elbow.

    Now...bring on the diaries!

  2. Foe 'mane' read 'name'...this maybe a subconscious reference to bad hair....

  3. I skip around in my reading & listening... so it happened like this for me:

    Read the post up until song descriptions. Listen to track 4 first, Circle She Is, as I read Rushbos comment. Rushbo says vocals are off, and I'm thinking no they're not. Then I read your description of the track, and you say you hate it- just as I'm about to start commenting on how I really liked it.

    So then I listened to the rest (& read about em), and now I do agree with Rushbo, and I think the reason people preferred that song is possibly the fact that it has the best vocals. The instruments are sound through out all 4, but the vocals aren't. Not tryin to bust on your friend, it's just that they're inconsistent.

    But.... overall opinion? Very impressed. Indeed.

  4. Thanks Rushbo and Adelle for the comments! Kind of bittersweet for me to hear you like it. I left the band a few months after the recording as I realised the band was a lost cause. If I had my time again I would have relocated to London....regrets, I've had a few!

    Rushbo - sorry, no tax breaks. But you might find your name written on a lavatory wall in a Stourbridge pub, somewhere between "for a good time call Shirley" and "land rights for gay whales".....

  5. Great bass, very nice guitar and killer drums....

  6. Thanks Oxy - Wish you were there!