Review: Scott Lucas & The Married Men’s Blood Half Moon

Scott Lucas & The Married Men: Blood Half MoonScott Lucas & The Married Men: Blood Half Moon (The End, 6/5/12)

“Blood Half Moons”

[audio:|titles=Scott Lucas & The Married Men: “Blood Half Moons”]

In 2009, Local H front-man Scott Lucas found himself with a batch of songs — intended to win back an ex — that didn’t seem to fit within the Chicago two-piece’s hard-rock repertoire. So, rather than let the material go unreleased, he did what many musicians with a secret soft side are wont to do: he went solo.

Lucas looked to local indie acts — notably, The Tossers, Caviar, and Joy Poppers — to form his sprawling, seven-piece ensemble The Married Men. Its debut was recorded with barely more than a handful of shows under its belt, and it’s apparent. With time, the band’s sound would quickly develop a darker, more powerful sound to match the intensity of its heartfelt lyrics.

For its second LP, Blood Half Moon, Lucas and co. seem to fully embrace the darkness inherent in its music. Whether it’s from the moments that the haunting organ, raspy voice, and booming guitars open the album on “Lover, the Lullaby,” or the desert-inspired “Blood Half Moons” with its “lyrics full of blood, crows, and whiskey,” it’s clear that the band has ditched its quiet, melancholic sound for a more commanding sonic presence. Scott Lucas & The Married Men has found its stride crafting, in its words, “country-ish alt-rock for people who like metal.” And though the description feels a bit off the mark, the band’s new MO is a recipe for success.