Skeletons And The Girl-Faced Boys: Lucas
Skeletons And The Girl-Faced Boys: Lucas
Artist Skeletons And The Girl-Faced Boys
Album Lucas
Label Ghostly International
Released 4/24/2007
Describing the sources of inspiration for LUCAS, Skeletons ringleader Matt Mehlan begins:

LUCAS is named after a small town in Kansas, where the Garden of Eden is. I started writ ing words for the record when we were driving through those huge states, thinking about these little places off the interstate. Sometimes just a house or two next to each other.

The album captures this dynamic wonderfully, managing to sound as expansive as a continent, while always leaving room for the tiniest sonic detail. Musically it's a stunning step forward for Skeletons & The Kings of All Cities - building on their reputation for everything-but-the-kitchen-sink instrumentation and uncommon arrangements - while expanding their sound to more organic realms, with strings, horns, and layer upon layer of percussion. A transition from a bounding pop tune into a horn freakout into an odd-tempo slice of mantra-folk has never sounded so smooth or natural. And that's just the start - Mehlan goes on to explain the complementary lyrics:

There's a beauty-obsessed king whose broom sweeps up all the leftover, unwanted people so he can fix them with his kisses and touch, make them HIS kind (and put holes in their bodies to squeeze God in). LUCAS became the town, the light at the end, the pot of gold, the emerald city AND the boy with hair flowing to his ankles from all over his body. He's one of those unwanted, and when the King calls out for the cops to bring him a lock of hair from all families' youngest children (to make a sweater), his family sends him off on his journey out of the city - to the Lucases, the Gardens of Eden, the freer nowhere places. To protect and save his hair personality, let him understand it, to return when he can handle the city and its intensities (people, memories, drugs), remove him from his curtained teenage room to where he can be beyond his hair. They give him a TV for comfort.

Whether or not you're able to pluck this narrative from the album itself, LUCAS is an unprecedented sonic journey that rides on a remarkable weaving of composition and arrangement, marking the collective's most ambitious and rewarding opus yet.