Album number two from the finest psych band to emerge from Carlisle proceeds from where debut Songs Of Lies And Deceit left off, opening up with the eight minutes plus of 'Mona Lisa', as eerie a beginning to an album as you'll find anywhere so far this year. After that initial couple of minutes of build-up, however, the overdriven assault you're subjected to comes as a welcome relief, even if the drum pattern does at times sound at odds with the rest of the instrumentation.
Beginning an album with the sort of end-of-set instrumental that most bands would place in the final spot in the running order sets the band's stall out pretty squarely. They're under no obligation to anyone but themselves so why not? If you can't appreciate the move then you're probably listening to the wrong band.
The sonic maelstrom continues for the album's entirety. 'The Darkest Day' / 'Head Musik' fools you with a slower start but by its end the spirit of James Chance is being channeled through the inclusion of some mental brass playing and the core instruments are being pounded on for all everybody's worth. 'Moonstruck' (The Lucid Dream's contribution to the 2014 Too Pure Singles Club) turns out, in the company of the lengthier tracks that make up the bulk of The Lucid Dream, to be a far shorter and faster blast from the group than memory allowed for. Turning that on its head 'Unchained Dub' follows it and, whilst not fully convincing me, at least shows the breadth of the band's scope.
Throw in the poppier fare of 'Unchained' and 'You & I' & you're in possession of a thoroughly assured album from a band that are building on incredibly firm musical foundations and whom you feel could still yet surpass this towering work.