In the booklet sheathed within Lucky Dragons’ new album, an “exister” is, in part, defined as “gentle, lazy, face-to-face contacts with infinity.” The question is, won’t infinity eventually become mundane? The answer is, yes, yes, by-god, it will.
I’ve been a Lucky Dragons devotee for a decade now, ever since Dark Falcon dropped, and as you would expect, LD have changed a lot since then. Problem is, they seem to have changed for the worse. The happy-go-lucky — cheesy, but you’ll know what I mean if you investigate — nature of their older outings is buried beneath an alarming amount of faceless rubble on Existers, to the point where the best thing I can say about it is it sounds like two side-long vinyl sketches of a great record that could one day be unleashed.
What happened? Lucky Dragons records used to pump out a 16-track minimum; now they’re coming with seven? I doubt a shortage of ideas is the termite eating away at the fringes of stone-confused plateaus — like on the title track and just about every dull-bladed cut that attempts to slice through the boredom thereafter — because LD always appeared to have almost too many creative tantrums to share. And that’s what made them brilliant: they brought the kitchen sink and forced you to drink from it.
Footing is finally found on “Mirror Makers” and “No Weapons,” but it’s barely worth sitting through six middling tracks to get to them. It’s a shame, as the presentation of Existers is top-rate, bolstered by a sweet little red-hued art book. Such is the lot of the music reporter: we get to hob-nob with our heroes, then, at other intervals, are forced to deliver a knuckle sandwich much more painful for us than it is for them. (If only they knew.)