Members of local theater company Love and Light Productions have banded together in a new musical offering called Lady. The band has just released its first album, “Delirium of Negation,” and the group’s theater troupe inspirations abound throughout the record.
Love and Light husband and wife co-founders Greg “Mudzo” Mudzinski and Alicia Marie Starr have assembled a solid band in Happy Valley comprised of Mudzinski on bass and vocals, Kevin Patterson on guitar and vocals, Kyle Haust on drums and three vocalists: Starr, Julia Wilson and Kylie Bumbarger.
The album’s opening track, “Take it to the Grave,” sets an upbeat punk-inspired tone that carries on throughout the record. Frenetic drums and distorted guitars lead to high pitched tenor vocals somewhat reminiscent of a Jim Steinman-inspired musical theater piece. Before the song reaches its zenith of a chorus, a female voice takes over lead, supported by a blanket of harmonies that cause the song to soar to a more pop-friendly refrain. Guitar solos and bass runs take the listener along on a ride that will most certainly be energetic until the end.
The followup song, “Morrigan,” sees the lead guitar take its rightful place up front through a deliriously frantic opening guitar riff that quickly evolves into a shred-fest to make even Eddie Van Halen proud. Punk is the name of the game as the gang from Lady fly at breakneck speed with raw rock speckled with tight, compact vocal harmonies on this track dedicated to the “phantom queen” from Irish mythology.
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Lady carries a darker theme to their lyrical style, often conjuring images of death and destruction while keeping its tempos and attitudes upbeat. And, while punk may be the name of the game, the guitar and bass work clearly have deep influences from classic heavy metal stylings, featuring guitar harmonies akin to old school metal bands such as Iron Maiden and Metallica.
The metal influences carry the album through tracks like the hooky and somewhat classic rock inspired “It’s About Time,” as well as punk anthems like “Now or Never.” Nearly all the instrumental work on “Delirium of Negation” is spot on with pinpoint accuracy. The guitars will slide from clean arpeggios to chunky riff-based chugging to straight up metal shredding.
When Lady takes the time to slow down, the band reveals its true strengths. Songs like “Lullaby,” “Body of Work” and “Coffins and Crowbars” put the vocals up front and trade in frantic pace for a more widely accessible groove that paints a nostalgic picture of long lost arena rock. The band accentuates its multi-tiered harmony structure on these songs and prove that Lady is a force to be reckoned with in the local scene.
To mix it up, the track “Hands up, Chin Down” offers a broad view of the band’s capabilities. It starts out as a chill song with a nearly spoken word introduction that eventually evolves in to possibly the heaviest moments on the entire record. Around the two minute mark, the song shifts into high gear, forcing the listener to sit up and pay attention to Mudzinki and company’s message that Lady is most definitely here to get under your skin and make you move. The band’s passion is palpable in every song, and it never allows the songs to rest in one spot for too long.
The album’s final track “One More Mile” is a fitting send off from the band who begs for just one more song, one more dream; one more mile on down the road. The band may have finished this record, but the gang from Lady is clearly just getting started in Centre County.
Intricate arrangements, soaring vocal harmonies and a thunderous rhythm section propel Lady’s first offering to a level most bands usually take two or three records to achieve. Instead, the band has already fundamentally discovered and identified their sound. From here, expect Lady to expand and evolve this style, and don’t be surprised to see the band make more and more appearances with Love and Light Productions shows in the future.
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