Bare-chested leather jacket enthusiasts everywhere rejoice… European polynational super group Lucifer are back with “Lucifer III”. They have eschewed their previous vintage tube amp cream laden sound for a sound even creamier with even more vintage tube amps. Grab your inexplicable leather police hat and slip into the reddest lipstick you can find while we take a look at this 1973 party rocker that actually came out in 2020.
To be honest when I first heard of the band Lucifer I rolled my eyes so hard it hurt. “They must have run out of ‘witch’ and ‘bong’ names so they just went right for the throat with this one!” I’m allowed to say that… probably half of my favorite bands have ‘witch’ in the name. The rest probably have some synonym for ‘Satan’. I’m not sure what drunken sojourn down Spotify lane led me to actually check them out… but they immediately differentiated themselves.
In a genre with a somewhat limited color palette, execution is key. Founder and singer Johanna Sadonis and her band mates have only refined this execution with their latest release, ‘Lucifer III’. Sabbath-worship for sure… but with a bit more party and a bit more groove than many of their contemporaries. This is that smokey, leather clad crunchy riff rock you’d expect but it is also creamy. Its got vibes like dancing in a leather jacket at your own wedding.
I’m glad the track “Leather Demon” is one of my favorites on the album because that title equally cracks me up and makes me want to put a pair of aviators on. This album is everything I really look for in rock n’ roll… Its catchy, its got some fun riffs and it has fantastic emotive vocals and strong harmonies. Is it metal? I suppose… in the classical sense sure, but really it just rocks.
Sonically we are talking about the usual suspects… but why fix what will never be broken. Orange amps, SGs and sparse analog effects… keyboards make appearances here and there in the form of B3 and Fender Rhodes. The drums are fat and thumpy. I would be remiss to not mentions the gratuitous use of vibraslap on “Flanked by Snakes” (how were we supposed to know they were serious about the snakes thing otherwise?)
Any of these songs would make an easy stand out anthem for a band of lesser caliber. What the album might lack in diversity, it makes up for in consistent quality. It presents itself as dark and grim but I can’t see this record as being anything other than summery with its catchy anthemic choruses, infectious bluesy riffing and lack of nonsense.
This isn’t the heaviest thing you’re gonna hear this year but that isn’t what you’re here for. You’re here to do shots and throw darts. There are unlimited credits in the jukebox. You can’t dance too well but just having this on will make it look like you can while you lazily lean against a bar stool. No one needs to know. The walls of the bar melt into nothingness, revealing a craggy southern Californian vista beyond. The final track, “Cemetery Eyes“ climaxes as the sun tears into your dilated pupils.
FINAL RATING: 69 cursed amulets out of 100