The press for last years \'Greatest Hits\' compilation informed us that \'its all been a bit vague until now\' and that description could equally be applied to \'Evolutionary Sunset Call\'. It has been (perhaps deliberately) vague as far as the truth being stranger than fiction story of SLR protagonist Stanley Lucas. However, \'Evolutionary Sunset Call\' finds Lucas choosing to reveal more to the listener than ever before, from publishing lyrics to losing the trademark distorted vocal for the majority of the album. It is certainly a marked evolution for Lucas, who previously left much of the lyrical content to the listener’s imagination. So what has brought about this change? \'Sunset Call\' suggests something coming towards a close and you wonder if the illness that has dogged Lucas has finally come to a head. If this is the case, then it is certainly a stunning farewell.
The album starts with the sprightly \'Wasteful Youth\' - part social comment and probably an autobiographical reflection on his own wilderness years. \'Brand New Way\' reveals Lucas has been \'serenading the pigeons far too long\' and vows to find a brand new way in an epic glam sing-a-long refrain. \'We still love them\' has another rousing chorus and deals with the bigotry of the Catholic Church, whilst \'Le Batteur\' is the first of a number of mood setting instrumental tracks and features some frantic drumming as the title suggests. Next is \'New Stone 40\' with another catchy chorus, which builds into a rousing stereophonic crescendo in the latter stages. \'Consultation Valley Ruse\' features a wonderfully addictive electro-pop beat and some of Lucas\' most poetic lyrics to date. The next instrumental segment is \'Intro in C\' which sounds like whales communicating on an alien planet but \'Insatiable\' is vintage Lucas with some nifty chord changes and distorted vocals for the purists. \'I\'m trusted in the Sea\' is another musical interlude and features some Hammond organ sounds and percussion accompaniment. Next is the seductive \'Two Ways\' - surely one of Lucas\' most laid back songs so far and almost a lullaby in places - complimented perfectly by \'Sacred Sons\' with its beautiful repeating piano phrase and dreamy slide guitar. \'Mourning Star\' is an instrumental with some bluesy guitar and leads into the epic \'downhearted\' with Lucas laying his heart and soul bare with a lament on lost love. Just as the song seems to be fading out it rises like a phoenix from the ashes with some soaring Johnny Greenwood guitar as the song fades back in. Finally is the poignant \'Happy Sun Day\' - the backwards guitar sounding almost celtic as one imagines a piper on the moors mourning a magnificent battle as he wonders amongst the stricken bodies.
It remains to be seen whether Lucas himself is winning the battle against his own personal demons, but whatever the eventual outcome of his war, this episode can be considered a glorious victory.