As with their 2017 debut, The Lucid Furs’ second full-length is driven by a quirky brand of psychedelic blues rock. But while This Ain’t No Mating Dance put those elements towards a driving 70s style ala Thin Lizzy or Budgie, No God? No Problem makes the most of the Detroit group’s blues influences. The album isn’t necessarily soft, but tempos generally operate on the slower side, and the band isn’t afraid to scale back as the material demands. Even the more upbeat tracks like “Take a Joke” and “Kill the Righteous” have a noticeably somber overcast.
A loose band dynamic works well with the style at hand, but the musicians’ chemistry is what truly elevates the album above more basic fare. The guitar and bass aren’t exactly in your face, but the tones have an electric earthiness while the former’s leads sitting right at that sweet spot between off the cuff and tightly composed. The playful, sultry vocals are also sure to draw attention, and the drums occasionally lapse into jazzy swings with plenty of cowbell on standby.
This looseness is further reflected in the songwriting. There seems to be a sci-fi undercurrent at work as “Take a Joke” mixes trippy effects into its speedy riff work, “Wait” plays like an acoustic space rock number, and “Dissolve” and “Leave This Planet” spruce up their slow blues jams with a recurring extraterrestrial lyrical theme. “Smoke ‘Em If You Got ‘Em” is probably my favorite track of the lot thanks to its wistful verse groove counteracting a more explosive chorus.
Overall, No God? No Problem makes for an effective foil to The Lucid Furs’ debut album. While both efforts can be basically summed up as meat and potatoes blues rock, each takes the style in a different direction that utilizes different aspects of that influence. I also find myself comparing this particular album to The Riven’s similarly styled debut, but a looser execution helps set it apart. I can imagine The Lucid Furs getting even more out there on future efforts, but this is an enjoyable development.
“Smoke ‘Em If You Got ‘Em”
“Leave this Planet”