Dominic and The Lucid
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Dominic and The Lucid

Portland, Maine, United States | SELF

Portland, Maine, United States | SELF
Band Rock Alternative


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"Lucid Dreaming - An effervescent ride on the mothership"

How far the Lucid have come. Sure, sometimes a band come out of the gate firing on all cylinders and crush their debut album, using chemistry and energy to overcome lack of experience. But far more common is for a band to take a little while to find their footing.

What's crazy with the Lucid is that they were pretty killer in the first place, but have grown substantially regardless, and their third full-length, self-titled as The Lucid (the band having dropped the "Dominic and" appendage last year), is an impressive artistic achievement and a damn good listen.

Right from the get-go, with the "Mothership" that appears on the GFAC 207, Vol. 8 compilation, the listener is greeted by frontman Dominic Lavoie's vocals, which are far more confident, demonstrative, and rangey than they were in 2003/2004 when he first introduced himself to the scene. He's always seemed like a humble kid who's just wanted to be a singer in a rock and roll band in the worst way, so his lamentations, above chiming piano and maybe a theramin late-song, about the reality of the music biz here don't seem so much complaining as matter-of-fact: "Money's got its cold hard hands on the reins around the shackles tearing apart at the seams of my dreams." Dang it, kid just wants to "spin a rhyme/Tap my foot in time/To the changing of a changing mind."

He's now absolutely in the first tier of vocalists locally, right up there with Chris Moulton (that Vanityites band has some serious potential) for expressiveness and emotion and sheer vulnerability. This can only be the result to true dedication to his craft.

His long association with Lucid members Nate Cyr (bass) and Chuck Gagne (drums) has also resulted in a dynamic and interesting rhythm section that drives much of the new record and leaves Lavoie comfortable enough to experiment. The songs here tend to ebb and flow, with few verse-chorus constructions and a lot of songs that seem to breathe with a rising and falling of percussion and bass.

The album's closing "Like on TV" is all about the resonant percussion and rattle, a touch Polynesian, that makes the melody from the xylophone pop. And I love the way Gagne's martial drumming enters in the second half of "Excommunation," in order to usher in the two-minute coda-as-song "Maiden Flight of the Golden Calf." The pacing creates an expectant tension. Five years ago, the Lucid would have capitalized with a big crashing crescendo. Now they let things simmer. Ebb and flow.

It's impressive that the songs here can seem both constructed and organic in equal measure, a credit to the capturing done at Rocking Horse Studio in New Hampshire (co-producer Scott Mohler has actually joined the band now). This is noticeable, too, on "Frontierless," where Lavoie stretches out and luxuriates on a bed of high hat and a lovely alt-country guitar tone. The organ's warm hum in the song's last minute ties everything together so well: "Can you show me/The things I've never seen?"

There are definitely moments among the 30 minutes that comprise the eight songs here where the Lucid undeniably carve out something new and different, mixing in the layering and keyboards (Tim Beaulieu does good things) and percussion of a band like Phoenix with the sentimentality of Donovan and the harmonies and strut of early classic rock like the Stones, Kinks, and Jefferson Airplane.

Everything seems to come together best on "Heliogram," a song named for messages delivered via mirrored flashes of sunlight and emulating that kind of effervescent and sparkling way of communicating. It opens jazzy with quick pacing, transitioning out of the languid "Frontierless," then ramps up into a rock vamp, almost R&B, strutting, shagadelic, but without that outlandish ego.

It's proggy at times in the arrangement and song construction, which ambles and sways, but it's also so clean and crisp that it's hard to associate it with the grandiosity that "prog" implies (although there are some spacey backing vocals that might be over the top).

The song is also pretty self aware: "I was on fire and I saw what I needed to see/That all the stars in the sky don't revolve around me." Are we talking here about the decision to drop Dom from the band name? The songwriting aesthetic?

Probably both. The Lucid have proven themselves here a cohesive unit with the ability to create luxuriant soundscapes anchored by vocals that are difficult to tear oneself away from. - Portland Phoenix , Sam Pfeifle

"The Lucid pushes past Floyd"

Bigger, badder and more ambitious than many local rock bands, The Lucid is back with the release of a self-titled third record, a more efficient moniker and a hefty dollop of polish to its ethereal proggy sound. The Lucid may well tire of Pink Floyd comparisons as the popular Portland fivesome represents more of an evolution than rehash, but the unmistakably spacey songs often reach for "The Dark Side of the Moon."

Take the opener "Mothership," a patient rocker led by Dominic Lavoie's steady pipes (which have noticeably grown up since 2008's "Season of the Sun"). In an outro eager for a big room and a colossal feedback-ridden jam, the song surprises with a subtle hand-clap track. "Frontierless" follows with similarly demonstrative power chords, then closes with sweetly layered guitar work and triumphant organ in the coda.

The highlight, "Heliogram," is a great example of The Lucid's lovably amorphous song structures. The tune eschews verses and choruses, and in less than four minutes takes quite a journey. Leading off with summery pop, The Lucid spirals into a dirty breakdown that's absolutely owned by Nate Cyr (bass) and Chuck Gagne (drums). This leads to gothic chorales for a haunted house finale, a musical effect akin to a flash thunder and lightning storm.

Say this of The Lucid -- the band always keeps you on your toes. But whereas back in the early days the guys could slip into goofy scatterings of their good ideas, here they have focused on transitions that allow for greater cohesion, and can lay claim to a wholly original set. It will be exciting to hear what The Lucid does next. - Portland Press Herald - Mike Olcott

"Musicians Who Deserve a Listen"

There's a point in every band's career when they write as though preparing for bigger rooms. So it is with The Lucid's self-titled third record, where monster guitars echo into the universe and rotating stars come through in drum patterns. The Lucid took its loosely woven eclectic sound and tightened it with confidence. Now, shocking turns in songs like "Heliogram" feel like the work of a master conductor. Look for big spacey pipes, strident guitars and over-the-top drums to be echoing through Congress Street for at least the rest of the year. - Portland Press Herald, 2011

"Winter of Deep Content"

"Led by Dominic Lavoie, the Lucid are musician's band, with a lot of respect throughout the city's players, and for good reason: great live show, songwriting, and musical ability" - The Portland Phoenix

"We had joy we had fun, Dominic and The Lucid release Season of The Sun"

It’s hardly rare for bands to borrow local talents to add flair here and there to a record, but Dominic and the Lucid — essentially a four- or five-piece band — have gone above and beyond the usual guest spots. Fifteen musicians play on Season of the Sun, their 11-song follow-up to 2006’s break-through release, Waging the Wage, and backing vocals are provided by an 18-strong chorus that recorded with engineer Jack Murray in USM’s Corthell Concert Hall.

That kind of talent convergence can be hard to harness, but the new disc sounds cohesive and manages to be dense and interesting without making the listener feel claustrophobic. As he did with Wage, frontman and songwriter Dominic Lavoie shows a great feel for pacing the record, mixing in love-song pop, bouncy rock, and languid string-filled ballads to create a throwback album that’s not quite a “concept,” but certainly demands that you listen to it from front to back.

There are times, though, when I wonder whether Lavoie didn’t gorge himself at the musician-and-talent trough, adding in backing vocals (the screamed piece mixed to the back of “Simpleton’s Hymn” at the finish) or percussion (the recurring ratchet in “Cement”) because he could and not necessarily because the song demanded it. Some of the bouncy pop numbers, like “Come Out and Play,” come off a tad manic.

That said, Lavoie also makes some inspired decisions with the guest players, as with the pairing of pedal steel player Cartwright Thompson and Kallie Ciechomski's viola on “Covered in Colors,” producing a sublime and liquid dream-state behind vocals that positively glow. Long-time drummer Chuck Gagne is great here, too, completely restrained and using his cymbals especially well to punctuate each note of the melody.

In a way, Lavoie seems to have evolved into Portland’s John Lennon (well, actually, Portland has a John Lennon, a rock guitarist, but I’m talking about the Beatles’ Lennon): a guy who can manage to make peace, love, and harmony seem cool without devolving into sentimentality and cheese. Like Lennon’s “Imagine” or “Give Peace a Chance,” Lavoie is able to create whole songs out of very simple themes and repeated phrases while remaining artful and interesting (U2’s “Peace on Earth” from All That You Can’t Leave Behind comes to mind, too). “Be in Love” is bouncy and upbeat with some great phrasings, centered around the idea that “I’ve been around the world once or twice before/But the answer isn’t found in starting wars/I promise you this/A treaty can’t touch the peace within a kiss.” So where is the answer to be found? “The answer’s in love/Be in love, being loved, be loved, be in love.”

So, it shouldn’t surprise you to hear in “Simpleton’s Hymn” that “all the little boys and girls/Need love, need love, they need love.”

Appropriately, this talk of love makes up the heart of the album, with the first three and last three songs providing the rib cage. Themes from the opening “Dog,” gray skies above a dog chained by the side of the road made musical by Nate Cyr’s thrumming bass beside a swirling organ, are revisited in the penultimate (and longest) “Swiveling Moon, All Temptations, All without Fearing,” with “Oh, God, chained dog/You’re life’s the same as mine” made slightly Zappa. In the ninth tune, “Song for Us to Sing,” we hear echoes of the third, “Cease to Exist,” when Lavoie revisits the “Cease” bridge: “I mean every word that I say/When tomorrow comes, better to fade away.”

Finally, there is “Of the Sun,” where piano and strings leave us uplifted, Lavoie’s voice (stronger on every recording) cracks just enough to emphasize his vulnerability, and it’s more than clear that “I’m in a dream/Where everything shines.” It’s a fitting finish to what ultimately feels like a psychedelic return to the Summer of Love, an aesthetic that easy to embrace, all the more so because as popular as “Imagine” might be as a song to sing on American Idol, it doesn’t seem enough people have really gotten the message yet. - Portland Phoenix / Sam Pfeifle

"The Lucid at The White Heart - Portland Maine"

“Dominic and the Lucid have been racking up honors over the past two years. In November 2006, their debut album Waging the Wage broke the top 10 list for all music sold at Bull Moose locations. In early 2007, the track "Poorboy" earned regular-rotation rights at local rock station WCLZ. And this spring, frontman Dominic Lavoie swooped up the honor of best male vocalist in The Portland Phoenix's Best Music Poll. It wasn't surprising, then, that their cover-free show at the White Heart Lounge was packed with adoring fans. And "adoring" really is the right word — the predominantly female audience seemed to be having a great time at the show and even local musician Moses Atwood made an appearance, shouting song requests with the best of them.

Gone are the days when Dominic Lavoie crooned his heart out solo singer/songwriter style. Of course, Lavoie's voice still packs a punch, but able backing by bassist Nate Cyr and drummer Chuck Gagne make Dominic And The Lucid a cohesive band — not just a showcase for Lavoie's celebrated vocal chords.
Critics have sought out strange, sometimes made-up words in an effort to describe the band's unique sound, "multi- colored" being one of the more accessible terms. It's easy to see why. The songs are complex, certainly, but in a peculiar way — they are almost reminiscent of classical music in their easy segues from movement to movement.

The music, of course, is rock, with lapses into blues, slow grooves and hints of British pop, but Lavoie's ability to switch from mandolin to electric guitar in a single song swiftly, but not abruptly, is uncanny.
"Lovely Lonely" from Waging the Wage was a standout performance for the evening: energetic, hard driving, and punctuated by some mind-boggling guitar maneuverings. At times, Lavoie's fingers blurred across the frets.
Surprisingly, although Lavoie is a tremendous songwriter, it was a cover song that blew the crowd away. U2 covers are a dime a dozen, but Dominic And The Lucid's version of "Trip Through Your Wires" was something special — a
meticulously overlaying of part upon part that finally toppled, washing the crowd in its energy.” - Northeast Performer Magazine



2011 - Dispatch Magazine Presents Vol. 1 - (compilation)
2011 - the Lucid - (LP)
2010 - Greatings from Area Code 207 Vol. 8 - (compilation)
2008 - Seasons of The Sun - (LP)
2006 - Waging the Wage - (LP)
2006 - Greatings from Area Code 207 Vol. 7 - (compilation)
2003 - Free St Band Battle - (compilation)
2003 - Vinyl Human - (EP)


Maine Radio Project



Dominic and the Lucid were once described as having “the unique ability to defy convention… while retaining an air of familiarity and comfort.” It is this quality that makes them so immediately likable. Established in 2003, the band originally featured Charles C. Gagne on drums, Nathan Cyr on bass, and Dominic Lavoie’s guitar and melodic, intricate vocal. These three members hail from a small town on the border of Maine and Canada, and have known each other for most of their lives. Along with the recent addition of Scott Mohler on guitar and keys, the band has solidified into something greater than just the sum of its parts.

Voted or nominated either best live act, best male vocal, or best album in the Portland Phoenix Best Music Poll every year since their inception, and as a 2012 New England Music Award nominee, Dominic and the Lucid have been stalwart in the Portland, Maine music scene from the start. They have since gone on to establish their presence at festivals and clubs throughout New England and New York, and their catalogue consists of several EPs and compilation credits, as well as three very well received LPs. The band is currently working in the studio recording their fourth full length record, and is looking to release it early to mid-summer 2012.

They have a sound that can be described as neo-progressive, asserting diverse qualities reminiscent of Pink Floyd , The Kinks, The Beatles to Bends-era-Radiohead. This is a band that is heralded by both critics and fans as having a sound that is both familiar and new at the same time—an oxymoron the group both appreciates and strives for.

Dominic and the Lucid have played at the prestigious Port City Music Hall and The State Theatre in Portland, ME, as well as other renowned New England venues. They have opened for many bands, some of which were Blind Melon, Sam Roberts Band, Mother Mother, Starlight Mints, and Rustic Overtones. They were 2010 Arootsakoostik Festival Headliners, 2010 Alive at Five Summer Music Series Headliners, 2010 CMJ Festival in New York City, 2011 Arootsakoostik Festival Headliners, and played both 2011 Camp Creek Music Festival (with Max Creek, the Brew) in Oxford, ME, as well as the 2011 Kah-Bang Music Festival (with My Morning Jacket, Grace Potter).