Lay of the Cid
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Lay of the Cid

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"Album Review: Lay of the Cid"

Lay Of The Cid’s self titled debut is a well-timed and swift rock n’ roll kick in the ass. Self-released in August, it only recently made its way to MCR. The three-piece, named after a medieval Spanish epic poem, take on all kinds of jangly punk and prog-rock with manic aplomb and without sounding like any of the current crop of screamo-damaged metalheads. Singer Zach Guy attacks the seven songs on the EP with a voice that is at times reminiscent of an excited Julian Casablanca’s of The Strokes, and the angular riffs and The Mars Volta-esque multi-structured songs add an additional dose of energy. Production on the disc is slick, yet manages to never zap any of the power or the organic quality of the songs: the finale “The Spannies” sounds like a heavily electrified Spanish-style guitar ballad. The record is an auspicious start, and proof that technical proficiency and raw power don’t need to be exclusive of each other. - Motor City Rocks

"Album Review: Lay of the Cid"

When this EP from Lay of the Cid arrived on the doorstep of Metro Times towers, there was little to suggest the delights that lay within. We were, in fact, suitably underwhelmed, at first. The band members are spread between Grand Rapids and Waterford ... and the cover art looks like a 5-year-old was let loose on Windows Paint. Then there's that band name. What exactly is the Cid and why does it lie in the manner that it does? So far, so blah. But then we played the damned thing.

The impact of the EP is immediate; first song "Jack of all Tirades" sounds like Richard Hell trapped in a studio with Frank Zappa, desperate to get out and hurrying through the recording process for all he's worth. Vocalist/bassist Zach Guy has a gloriously psychotic voice, a fact that carries Lay of the Cid out of the typical. The band also has the ability to completely abandon conventional musical structure at will yet manage to never sound self-indulgent or ridiculous.

Next up is the wonderfully titled "Don't Cry for Me Bosnia and Herzegovina," a song that, like its predecessor, attacks at full pace from the start but then slows to a crawl for the remainder. Guitarist Mike Lomerson and drummer Nick Swanson are masters of their instruments and they are blessed with the confidence — in themselves as well as each other — to change gears seemingly at will. "Summer Nights on the South Side" is a good example, perhaps the most accessible song on the record. "Don't let your babies grow up to be junkies," croons Guy, as the band switches from high-speed post-punk to reggae in the blink of an eye.

One can only begin to imagine just how great this band is live. It'd be nice to believe that their dynamics are spontaneous. But it's probably closer to the truth to assume that they rehearse themselves to death. Either way, catch them at a venue near you soon. - Detroit Metro Times

"Album Review: Lay of the Cid"

Lay of the Cid sound like chaos – but you can bang your head to it…you can also shout along to it…you may also be able to be possessed by it. It’s not punk, it’s not metal, it’s not even that freaked-up kind of indie squall, but lovers of all three will give a knowing grin at the spastic sort of sinewy rock style brought by this Detroit (by way of Waterford and Grand Rapids) trio. The listener’s thrown from side to side like a frail knock-kneed quadruped on roller skates inside a freight train’s caboose – the rhythm explodes at every other measure with shattered cymbals, in a tight, focused, yet demolition-ready drum style; meanwhile the bass takes no back seat, and often waves its way around in these almost funky declarations – and the guitar goes from cosmic to cutting; spacey surf punk chords flare into almost black-metal toned battle cries and psychedelic solos. The EP features anthemic punk with snaky vocal shouts, that shift to driving rock n’ roll setting a steady backbeat and then stretches into more freaky experimental realms….recalls hardcore as much as it does urban-folk and metal and a bit of reggae and funk –

A hazy middle ground band (genre-wise) to be sure…but for punks and metal-heads…or for the indie rockers who only try those hats on every other Sunday, this would be a refreshing spin. Among Faith No More, Bad Brains and Sublime, I was also going to name drop Detroit-based Child Bite, as a reference point - hesitatingly at first, but…then figured it would be appropriate considering the two just played a show together at the Elbow Room last week. - Deep Cutz Blog (Detroit)

"Energetic and Experimental"

Now based in Royal Oak, Mich., but soon coming west to a Lighthouse Café near you, Lay of the Cid takes its moniker from an old, old, old Spanish epic poem. But don’t expect echoes of Segovia in this self-released mini-album. In their cover letter, the group mentions King Crimson, Brigit Nilsson, B-movies, and Death From Above. The word bi-polar is in there, too, and we shouldn’t ignore it.
And why is that, Professor Bondo?
Because the songs often feel like intensive jam sessions, with malleable foundations and an inclination to change speed and direction at the drop of a hat. And while the tracks may not feel refined in the classic sense of the word, they do feel intelligent: No one’s left behind when the bassist (Zach Guy) or the drummer (Nick Swanson) or the guitarist (Mike Lomerson) suddenly shifts gears. Like a school of fish, they’re all in this together.
Lay of the Cid squirms away from any sort of easy classification, although post-punk might be as good a place as any to begin. The inaugural track, “Jack of All Tirades” simply lunges from one’s speakers, and the vocals are correspondingly urgent and raw – for some reason, Jello Biafra and The Dead Kennedys comes to mind.
Those same vocals will prove to be a demarcation between the young and the very young when it comes to embracing the band (the group, as I’d learn later, tends to reel in an audience in the 14- to 25-year-old range). They’re not easy on the ears, although they do pack in a few surprises. You can, for instance, dance slow and close to the bluesy “338 M.A.C.” But it’s the occasional experimental flair of the trio that lures us into coming back. One of the best examples of this is their song “If You Seek a Beautiful Peninsula, Look About You.” They seem to be trying on different shoes as they go along, and there’s never a break in the action.
As I’ve said, there’s a lot of high-energy stuff here, with more time changes than you can shake a stick at, and at the bottom of it a group that doesn’t seem like it’ll ever compromise in pursuit of a lucrative deal. It’s all about the music; it’s all about the wild ride. - Hermosa Beach Easy Reader

"Lindsey's Listens"

"Lay of the Cid attacks the stage with the vigor of Bridget Nielson auditioning for B movies and reality TV shows."

That is the way the delightful post-punk band describes themselves. Unlike the passive-aggressive emo music taking over rock 'n' roll, Lay of the Cid would rather punch you in the face than talk about their feelings.

Their debut EP is as colorful and sporadic as their album cover (pictured above).

"Jack of All Tirades," the first song on the EP, comes at the listener hard and fast with the only breather being a smooth bass line halfway through.

Lay of the Cid slows it down a bit after three energized songs with the appropriately titled "Sedated Serenade." Quickly after, they wind the tempo back up with a Breeders-esque bass line and screeching guitars on "If You Seek a Beautiful Peninsula, Look About You." - Music Review - Grand Rapids


Lay of the Cid - Lay of the Cid 2008

"338 M.A.C." and "Holding On"
Impact 89fm - East Lansing, MI



There are bands that favour musicality and technical wizardry over primal aggression and raw emotion, and then there are those, like Lay of the Cid, who realize that the two attributes needn’t be mutually exclusive. Their self-titled debut album, released as 2008 drew to a close, was one of the most insanely eclectic and unrestrained records of that year, and their forthcoming album promises much of the same, and so much more. The tripped out Brit-pop-ism of Gorillaz, the grunge-influenced art-rock of the Smashing Pumpkins, the contemporary prog rock of Tool, the knowing post-hardcore of the Fall of Troy and the jazz fusion workouts of Return to Forever, not to mention a healthy dose of traditional jazz – all can be found within Lay of the Cid’s unique and exhilarating tunage. A genuine meeting of minds, the three members of Lay of the Cid (bassist and vocalist Zach Guy, guitarist Mike Lomerson and drummer Nick Swanson) found artistic brethren in each other - fellow aficionados of the musically complex, disturbing and ludicrous. The fact that the three band members have stuck together, thriving on the sort of in-fighting and artistic differences that would have broken up lesser sorts attests to the fact that no other combination of individuals could make this inspired noise. The seeds were sown when, after playing together in a variety of other projects, Swanson and Guy met up with former school friend Lomerson. Before long, the trio were comparing favorite bands. It was discovered that there was enough common ground to make a musical endeavor feasible, and yet enough differences to make that same venture interesting and completely unpredictable. Lay of the Cid was born soon afterwards, in a Lansing, Michigan, storage shed. The band moved south to the Detroit suburb of Royal Oak in 2008 and the rest, as they say, is history in the making. Lay of the Cid is that most unusual of bands – they’re almost impossible to categorize. This total disregard for musical boundaries is part of what makes the group so intriguing. They grab inspiration by the handful from wherever it strikes, paying no heed to what is considered ‘cool’ or even marketable. They trust their own gift to create dynamism, and therefore feel the need to imitate no one. Lay of the Cid have shared a stage with bands like The Dear Hunter, Damiera, Fear Before the March of Flames, Bahamut, Child Bite, DD/MM/YYYY, but their biggest achievement so far is the release of their self-titled debut album. Recorded in true DIY style, the record is undeniably a special piece of work. Reviewing the album, Brett Callwood of the Metro Times said of the band that “As well as Guy, guitarist Mike Lomerson and drummer Nick Swanson are masters of their instruments and they are blessed with the confidence, in themselves as well as each other, to change gears seemingly at will.” From the opening, manic “Jack of all Tirades”, through the luscious “Don’t Cry for Me Bosnia and Herzegovina” all the way to the closing “The Spannies”, the record seems to touch upon Soundgarden, Zappa and Cactus, without breaking stride. With a new album all set for release, 2010 promises to see Lay of the Cid cementing their blossoming reputation in Detroit and beyond. Of their forthcoming release, the band say that, “We're focusing on arrangements that can't necessarily be replicated live through the use of soundscapes with stereo panning, multiple layers of guitars, and multiple instruments that aren't necessarily in our live show. Our first album was more of a snap shot of our live show at the time. The next album is heavily influenced by Detroit. Not only in the subject matter but also as a result of living outside the city and absorbing the character of the city in our lives”