Ana Lucia - Ana Lucia (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Ana Lucia

Ana Lucia (2012)

Ramo Records / Base Records

Ana Lucia might be better known to some as the former singer with the Chicago punk band the Busy Signals, however, with me that's not the case. Although I had previously heard one track by that outfit, I was totally unaware as to who was providing the vocals on what was a particularly upbeat song. In fact, if you search the internet for ‘Ana Lucia' you're more likely to come up with a character from the TV series Lost than get anything on this particular musician.

This album is a bit of a throwback to the era which saw Blondie begin it's meteoric (ish) rise to stardom and there is definitely comparisons to be made between Ana Lucia and Debbie Harry: the music has that same kind of new wave/pop sensibility, the voices are occasionally similar and both were able to be the centre of attention, even on record. In fact, Lucia's voice is something akin to a honey trap – it will lure you in and not let you go: it's intoxicating.

This is Lucia's first solo album and for the nerds out there, was recorded at Geza X's studio by Paul Roessler (Screamers, 45 Grace). In keeping with the element of nostalgia, there are two covers found on the album; "Gimme You" originally by Sado-Nation and "Take Me Down" orignally by the Zips. I'd not heard either of the originals but having done so, it's clear that Ana Lucia has chosen well as both songs have been polished up a bit without losing their original charm.

The album opens strongly with "Mad Man," "Resistance" and "Take Take Take" delivering three consecutive gems of some note. In fact, on second thoughts, it's not so much three consecutive gems as they are swiftly followed with no drop in quality by "Shot Through The …" and the aforementioned Sad-Nation cover which incidentally is my favourite track on the album. Basically, there is no filler on this album, which makes it so much more enjoyable to listen to.

Generally what you hear on the album is a kind of new wave/power pop sound, with guitars being quite up front but without any major histrionics in terms of solos, keyboards that assist in driving the songs forward and a bass that fits in perfectly, with some really impactful yet simple work. It would be wrong to miss out the drums, but really they sit in the background keeping time as one would expect. I'd imagine that Roessler takes a lot of credit for making this whole album sound so straightforward yet effective, although that's not to say that the songs themselves do not have their own merit, as tracks like "Watcher" manage to convey quite an eerie atmosphere using the keyboards and guitar.

If this had been recorded 35 years ago then it would have most probably been released on the Dangerhouse label, so hopefully that gives you some sense of where this is coming from, albeit with a production quality that is from the 21st century.

The LP is available through US based Ramo Records whilst the CD is out on Base Records from Japan.

Now it's time to purchase some material by The Busy Signals and Sado-Nation.