Based in Washington, DC. ‘Lazleitt’ is the brainchild and focal point for the considerable song writing talents of multi-instrumentalist and vocalist ‘Alex Lazcano’. Whilst Alex seemingly has a preference for progressive rock he is also a classically trained musician, a fact which is clearly revealed in his methodical approach, interesting ideas and beautifully constructed musical arrangements. This is the second full blown project under the ‘Lazleitt’ moniker entitled ‘Perpetually under Idle Grounds’. An interesting project not only from the music perspective but also from the point of view of the subject matter. A very abridged insight to the lyrical content can be summed up as follows:- “At around the turn of 16th Century America the persecution of strong willed females for practicing the black arts provides the themes for four of the tracks and then the spooky goings on at ‘Twin Peaks’ completes the fifth. See additional note about the scores below provided by Alex Lazcano..
What is so special about ‘Lazleitt’? Well! One of the major factors for me that absolutely highlights the difference between an ordinary band and a band that crosses the line into the realms of greatness is, in my opinion the ability for a band to continually progress and not stand still and resting on its laurels. In this the second album by Lazleitt that is exactly what ‘Alex Lazcano’ has achieved, He could have easily repeated the successful formula laid down with his debut album but has, instead, taken a distinctly different route, a bold move to both explore and expand the progressive direction of his music. This time employing a distinctly more melodic edge to the proceedings being mostly written on a 12-string acoustic and piano, unlike ‘On the Brink’, which was mostly written on electric guitar and bass.
From a music perspective:- The journey stars with short intro comprising a looping sequence of deeply resonating keyboard generating a series of bass vocal sounds together with an accompanying influx of electronic alto vocal lines that do truly set the scene for the musical expedition ahead. For me. It was just like entering the opening to a huge treasure-cove that would soon divulge many caskets of magic sounds contained deep within to explore. Such treasures subsequently revealed in the form of crisp guitar proliferations that literally sway and dance over a huge audio canvas of keyboard orientated chord changes and multitudes of differing instrumental effects. The sum fusion of different instrumental sounds all combining in melodramatic fashion to create a series of theatrical soundscapes of keyboard inspired time changes that ebb and flow as the music moves ever forward and the vocal story lines emerge. As can be anticipated with such an expansive album, subsequent plays continually reveal different instrumental aspects that both astonish and delight.
Eric Gillette, studio musician extraordinaire and ‘Neil Morse’ cohort is a wonderful addition to the band, his powerful drumming and blistering lead guitar contributions perfectly compliment the symphonic melodies and classical audaciousness of Alex’s keyboard fills together with further contributions and instrumental diversity provided by David Knowles (The Swan Chorus) on additional keyboards and Carlos Hernandez (Tree of Life Project) on lead guitar.
The vocals throughout are especially entrancing and the combination of Liz Tapia (Dark Beauty) with Alex Lazcano are so beautifully worked out and arranged. The resultant combination of male –female voices melding perfectly together both in pitch and tone. Other solo deliveries from Alex are all well executed and the accompanying voice overdubs beautifully administered. I would imagine that both Alex and Liz would have spent many happy hours perfecting these superb duets in the studio.
Summary: An excellent well produced album full of delightful music which raises the progressive flag even higher. A no argument top score album.
Cover Art: Interesting monotone colouring perpetually depicting those idle grounds. Open here for correction.
Alex Lazcano (on Lead/Rhythm Guitar, Bass Guitar, Keyboards, Piano & Vocals) in collaboration with other musicians such as Eric Gillette (The Neal Morse Band) on drums & lead guitar, Liz Tapia (Dark Beauty) on vocals, David Knowles (The Swan Chorus) on additional keyboards, Carlos Hernandez (Tree of Life Project) on lead guitar. “Perpetually Under Idle Grounds” (July 26, 2019) is the follow up to Lazleitt’s debut album “On The Brink” (August 31, 2018).
Here are some notes about each song provided by Alex Lazcano
Perpetually Under Idle Grounds
1. Prelude (1:12)
2. A Furtive Shelter (21:12)
I. Through The Glass Darkly
III. Take Your Darkness Somewhere Else
IV. Babylonian Dreams
V. Perpetually Lost
VI. Inside A Paper Bag
VII. Revolutions Of The Heavenly Spheres
VIII. Under Idle Grounds
IX. Through The Glass Darkly (reprise)
3. Gallows Hill Dossier 1: Grace Sherwood (5:00)
4. Gallows Hill Dossier 2: Bridget Bishop (6:36)
5. The Owl And The Blue Rose (8:18)
I. Shadow And Light
II. Walking In Through The Curtain
Written, produced, and arranged by Alex Lazcano
Additional production by Eric Gillette
“The Owl And The Blue Rose” - lyrics by Sue Lumb
Recorded at various locations, winter 2018-2019.
Mixed & Mastered by Eric Gillette at EKG Studios
Some notes about the tracks:
A FURTIVE SHELTER
Inspired by works of HP Lovecraft, Edgar Allan Poe, and other writers and philosophers.
GALLOWS HILL DOSSIER 1: GRACE SHERWOOD
On July 10, 1706, a forty-six-year-old Princess Anne County woman named Grace Sherwood faced an unusual legal procedure. Her hands were tied and she was about to be thrown from a boat into a river as a test to see if she was a witch. For several years neighbors talked of how the midwife, healer, and widowed mother of three had ruined crops, killed livestock, and conjured up storms. Then in January of 1707 Luke Hill formally accused Sherwood of witchcraft. The case passed from the county court to the attorney general of Virginia without any judgment.
GALLOWS HILL DOSSIER 2: BRIDGET BISHOP
Bridget Bishop was one of nineteen people executed for witchcraft in Salem, Massachusetts, in 1692. She developed a reputation for entertaining into the wee hours of the night, playing forbidden games such as shuffle board, and generally being the target of much speculation and gossip. In April, 1692, a warrant was issued for Bishop's arrest on charges of performing witchcraft and consorting with the devil himself. “Spectral evidence” was offered, including several men testifying that she had visited them — in spectral form — in bed at night.
After Bishop's hanging, eighteen others were executed for the crime of witchcraft.
THE OWL AND THE BLUE ROSE
(Music by Alex Lazcano/Lyrics by Sue Lumb)
Inspired by Twin Peaks, a mystery series written by David Lynch & Mark Frost. The show’s protagonist is FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper, who travels to Twin Peaks in the rural Pacific Northwest on special assignment when Laura Palmer is found murdered, similar to a previous murder in Washington. The illusory perceptions of the mind awakening to alternate dimensions or multiverses is the subtext of the Twin Peaks narrative. It was through dreams that Agent Cooper communicated with entities of the Lodges. One example is when The Giant first appears to Agent Cooper after he’s been shot and drifts between states of consciousness, and informs Cooper “the owls are not what they seem”. Blue Rose was a top secret joint task force of the United States military and Federal Bureau of Investigation, formed in the years after the official closure of Project Blue Book in 1970 to investigate cases of a paranormal nature. Glastonbury Grove was a circular stand of twelve sycamore trees located in Washington's Ghostwood National Forest, close to Pearl Lakes and the town of Twin Peaks. Under certain conditions, a translucent set of curtains would appear across the grove's center, allowing passage into a red-curtained labyrinth believed to be the mythical Black Lodge.
Sleeve design by Alex Lazcano
Dark Beauty (Liz’s band): http://DarkBeautyMusic.com
DBLT Designs (Liz’s jewelry line): https://dbltdesigns.com
The Swan Chorus (David’s band): theswanchorus.bandcamp.com
The Tree Of Life (Carlos’ project): www.treeoflife-project.com
EKG Productions (Eric’s studio): www.ericgillettemusic.com