LUDER (Sonoluminescence) CD
Consistent with the hundredth album release of Small Stone Records, label owner Scott Hamilton took advantage of the opportunity to release the debut of LUDER, where he plays guitar and provides the sound with some effects. One thing is certain: LUDER is not your typical 1970's-infected riff rock band. Hardrock, funk, trip hop, psychedelic rock and more are fused together into a very dynamic, organic sound that you cannot pigeonhole. In the center of the music is the stunning vocal performance of bassist Sue Lott. Perhaps some of you remember Slot, where she was part of the lineup together with former LUDER drummer Eddie Alterman. Slot is another band on the Small Stone roster which differs totally from many other bands there. In the meantime, Eddie Alterman has been replaced by ex-Novadriver drummer Eric Miller, whereas Scott Hamilton and guitarist Phil Dürr (Big Chief, Giant Brain, Five Horse Johnson) belong to LUDER since the foundation in 2006. All in all, this is like a Small Stone family meeting, but at least it's an anniversary.
Due to the participating musicians, it is clear that 'Sonoluminescence' is a very individual album. As already mentioned before, it is not easy to put it into any pigeonhole. LUDER deliver the goods with a trance inducing sound where rock and pop are equal partners. With funky and tasteful grooves like on 'Sing To Me' and 'Selfish And Dumb' the diversity of this band really shines. At the same time, the songs are layered with crunchy riffs, modest guitar solos, and psychotropic effects. The emotional range on this disc is significant and especially Sue Lott sings with a kind of grace and dignity that is so crucial to the band's sound. She makes sure that 'Sonoluminescence' is ethereal and almost beyond this world. The production is flawless in both its audibility and its command of the album's mood. That's perhaps what I love the most about this album: the beautiful vocals and rich production leaves you wanting to revisit each track over and over again, each time leaving you with a new or different impression and/or understanding of LUDER's sound. It's a remarkable debut and can be particularly recommended for those who are open-minded towards heavy music that didn't care for current trends. Personally I like this album very much.