EPs such as “The Dwelling” by Gabriel Lucas Music are a sign of the times. An indie artist seeks out the help of more established musicians to bring their music to life. The more established musicians offer their services for a fee to those willing to pay it. I’ve seen this more than ever lately thanks to how fucked the music industry is in today’s world.
In most cases, the musicians hired are more experienced and overshadow the artist that hired them. “The Dwelling” is a bit of an exception to that rule. Sort of. Lucas has the assistance of Dave Young and Ryan Van Poderooyen, both formerly of the Devin Townsend Project. They are joined by vocalist Erik Severinson and bassist Mike Young (Dave’s brother). The four of them were in the band Ten Ways together. So the four of them have chemistry. The problem is they don’t have it with Lucas.
The 3 of the 4 songs are all fairly short and that’s part of the problem. By the time you get into the opening track “Absolution,” it ends. In fact the first time I heard it, I actually said “Oh that’s it?” out loud. “To Neso And Back” is along the same lines in that by the time you have a grip on things it’s over. The one track that works best is the title track which is 6 minutes. It has room to grow and breathe. The instrumental closer “Die is Cast” is also over before it does anything.
Performance wise, Severinson isn’t a good fit for the music. He is on the first two tracks and tends to over sing on music that doesn’t require that. He’s got a good voice but just doesn’t connect with the vibe of the music. Similarly, Van Poderooyen seems to overplay at the wrong times and under play other times. It’s not until the mid point of the title track that he seems to pay attention to what Lucas has written.
This is the biggest problem when you employ people to play your music, versus write things as a band. Granted all of this, including having underdeveloped songs, would be fixed by a good producer. Since the Young Brothers are listed as the producers, it falls on them. They seem more like they just collected all of the performances and put them together rather than pushing for the best possible outcome. If not, then I’d be curious to know why these songs weren’t allowed to grow more.
The songs have some very solid moments and like any seed, they could have bloomed if watered properly. Lucas has talent but this feels like musicians who just did their job rather than connect with the music itself. It’s 15 minutes long altogether and perhaps it’s a case of this was all that could be afforded. I don’t know but I feel like Lucas deserved better. It feels incomplete to be honest and that’s probably the most appropriate rating I can give. This is not on Gabriel Lucas though.
2. To Neso And Back
3. The Dwelling
4. Die Is Cast