Published Nov 21, 2014Those hoping hear the influence of Johnny de Courcy's work with Black Wizard on his sophomore solo album, Alien Lake, are going to be sorely disappointed, which is probably for the best. In a recent interview with the Westender, de Courcy discussed how Bob Dylan was instrumental in turning him into a more multifaceted musician instead of a "close-minded metal head," and this more musically adventurous side of de Courcy is on full display on his newest release.
A great platform for his guitar prowess, Alien Lake features a wide range of musical influences that run the gamut from classical piano (on the beautiful instrumental title track) to psychedelic grunge rock on "Turkish Freakout" and more outwardly pop sensibilities on the cheekily titled "Steely Down." While entirely written by de Courcy, the album features contributions from guitarist Michael Kraushaar, bassist Mat Vass and drummer/percussionist Phi Van, and was recorded at Alien Lake Studios in Kelowna, hence the album's name. "Wind Chimes" recalls the best of Weezer, in both its simplicity and instrumental duality, easily shifting from soft melodic strings to all-out cacophony in a split second.
A lot of care was put into Alien Lake, and those efforts are made obvious throughout every track, with de Courcy's unmitigated involvement in its recording making for a deeply satisfying listen. (Neptoon)