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Cycles Bring Listeners On “Vacation” In Debut Studio Album [Review]

Cycles has wowed crowds across the country since their inception almost exactly two years ago to the date. The band formed in May 2015 when Patrick Harvey (guitar), Michael Wood (drums) and Tucker McClung (bass) decided their tasty basement jams were more than ready to rock the stage. After recording two EPs in the band’s basement, the Denver-based trio continues making strides in the enormous Colorado music scene that is within constant evolution. On Friday, Cycles released their full-length debut album Vacation.

The title track “Vacation” kicks things off with a wailing guitar lick paired perfectly with a thunderous build-up by the rhythm section, before McClung busts out the opening lyrics: “It’s for the rest of your life, you’ll still be on vacation.” “The Aloe Parade” follows in similar fashion, showcasing the unique sound and synchronicity that makes this trio ever so powerful.

Recorded at famed Mountain Star Studio nestled in the mountains of Blackhawk, CO, the band clearly took the “vacation” they needed and created nothing short of a masterpiece. Harvey’s soulful guitar solos blend perfectly with any beat that McClung and Wood throw down, elevating the new material to unsurpassed heights as we see in the electrifying anthem, “The Store.”

Everyone in Cycles carries their own weight and there is an evident brotherly bond between the three members. This creates a sense of trust that allows the music to transcend quality without quantity. In the cyclical world of Cycles, less is more and the band does no better job at proving this than on a track like “Twilight.” During such a chaotic period in world history, fans are able to take a vacation through this beautifully crafted 9-track album and float in the psychedelic rock fusion that the Denver boys create anytime they grace the stage.

“The Ruminator” continues on the album’s theme of getting the funk down and enjoying life’s finest moments with those who mean the most to you. McClung proclaims, “Keep on waiting, until your time runs out,” evoking the heavy yet truthfulness that we all play with everyday in this show of life.

The album wraps up with “The Call,” a fast-paced journey through time and space, with riveting guitar work and a jam-heavy sound that seems near impossible to create with only three musicians. The absence of a keyboard player presents no limitations for Cycles, and makes the trio that much more compelling to continue observing their rise to the top in the Colorado jam scene and beyond. If  Vacation doesn’t make you want to listen to this powerhouse on repeat, than maybe you should take a vacation yourself and enjoy the beauty of these incredible 9 songs!