From Lord Huron to Johnny Cash, artists new and old alike have dipped their toes into the venerable, earthen power of swamp stomp music throughout the years. Few, however, breath this grungy, harrowing spin on the popular folk-rock as profoundly—or as well as—BEAU + LUCI. Their lilting vocals have the innate ability to lithely traverse ebbs and flows as gracefully and precisely as First-Aid Kit, but the tales that the tell are decidedly darker, held together Live From: Aggie Theatre alongside the electric thrills of the Howling Tongues.
The job of a sound engineer taking on the task of recording a live performance on the spot is a significant endeavor. Other than making sure well ahead of time that all is well-mixed on stage for the actual live audience in that very moment to behold, you’re also the one behind the machine, clipping at the right moments and making absolutely certain that the sound is translating to your mix. Needless to say, much has gone awry. Countless live recordings have suffered from drops in quality for one reason out of the myriad, but that isn’t the case with BEAU + LUCI’s endeavor here. The inimitable sirens’ soaring vocals and swampy arrangements come across clearly, with no layer of emotional conveyance and swagger lost in translation.
So, what listeners are privy to with the Live From: Aggie Theatre EP are six tracks from a killer Fort Collins night. The band kicks in with a stellar rock’n’roll attitude from the get-go with the crunching opening riffs of ‘Rattle the Bones’, and they never lose their sense of captivating style from there. There’s an almost spiritual nature to proceedings as BEAU + LUCI play off of each other with their Americana-drenched souls so well, let alone with how well the Howling Tongues gel with their innate style. With an album as delectable as this, it’s only a shame that there wasn’t more to it—a band this darn good is more than deserving of a full-length live album.