If you haven’t heard of Lotus Crush before, you will now. Band members include: Vocalist Terry McDermott, former front man for the band Driveblind and season 3 runner up on The Voice in the US. Along with co-founding members of the multi-platinum, Seattle rock band Candlebox, Peter Klett on guitar and Scott Mercado on drums. Their debut album Half Light Morning released in 2011 and thrilled the music-consuming public, who asked for more, more, more.
McDermott’s voice is very unique, with its hint of a Scottish accent. I find it very captivating. He sings with such raw emotion and intelligence with a keen ear for melody. Soft and gentle, fast and loud, he does it all effortlessly. Peter Klett plays so beautifully and powerful. I don’t hear him playing individual notes, but what I do hear is Peter making that thing sing. The notes all flow together smoothly. While many drummers settle for a simple beat, Scott Mercado ornately produces a much more intense creation, providing indispensable structure for the music.
The album’s lead single “Hearts and Minds” is a pounding rock song. The official video for this song stars C. Thomas Howell and has an anti-government feel that weaves the band playing into it. The sentiment of the lyrics got positive feelings out of me all throughout.
Terry sings “All The Same” very confidently. I really enjoy the background vocals and instrumentation. It is so complex, yet soothing. This is going to sound great acoustically as well. “Blood in the Water” includes some fret fuzz that is usually mixed out of the recording. I like hearing it, feels more raw to me when it’s left in, more intimate. This is a very supportive song, encouraging listeners to keep going. No matter how things are right now, just keep your chin up and keep going.
With a glorious collective of strings Terry sings “Heavens Hell” powerfully. Listen closely and you’ll hear him speaking to you, all of you. Although there is a solo from Peter, it does feel somewhat short; I wouldn’t mind hearing longer ones. When “Last Days” begins I’m expecting to hear Sid Vicious start singing. Mercado pulverizes his drums, Klett joins in, rapidly rocking his guitar, and Terry sings this one robustly. Pointing out what’s important is the very sweet “Hold On”, with lyrics reminding us that who we hold dearly, are a part of us, no matter what else is going on in the world. We will always find strength in each other so don’t let go.
“Come Away” will most likely become Lotus Crush’s signature crowd belt-along track, where the crowd will be singing along so loudly, you won’t be able to hear Terry at all. This ballad will also sound beautiful acoustically. Terry starts singing “On and On” softly and sweet with violins in the background. It’s beautiful to hear a vocalist sing harmony with themselves. Playing live, the other band members will sing backup/harmony, however the crowd will probably drown them out singing along. This tune fluctuates between serene and vigorous, while flowing together neatly.
“I Potest Non Spirant (I Can’t Breathe)”, sung by Peter Klett, demonstrates that he doesn’t just play the guitar, he also has a beautiful voice. The song is short and sweet, but it’s lovely to hear him sing. One can pick up a very Dave Grohl-esque timbre and inflection to his voice. The heartbreaking “Bye, Bye” starts with just Terry and a guitar, then elegant strings and beautiful harmony chime in which adds to the feeling of sorrow. Meanwhile, you know right from the intro to “Death From Above” that it’s going to be rowdy as Mercado solidly strikes his drums. Peter plays strong and reverbs the guitar quite a bit in this one, giving this song its own unique flair.
This album sounds like a lot of hard work and awesome talent went into it. With an ensemble of contributing artists, I can feel the strength that they each provide. The album encourages the listener to think about the world, what’s important and what’s going on around them. The record is definitely worth a listen.
1. Hearts And Minds
2. All The Same
3. Blood In The Water
4. Heavens Hell
5. Last Days
6. Hold On
7. Come Away
8. On And On
9. I Potest Non Spirant
10. Bye Bye
11. Death From Above