Cycles' Debut Album 'Vacation' Promises A Bright Future Ahead September 17, 2017 21:27

Photo by Gary Sheer Photography

Review by Jordan Kirkland: Live & Listen

Denver based power trio, Cycles, get ready to embark on a substantial fall tour for 2017. The action recently kicked off in Colorado with two Phish Dick’s after parties followed by Canyon Jam festival at the legendary Mishawaka Amphitheatre. Heading north out of Colorado, the trio recently completed a run of shows in Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho – supporting Kyle Hollingsworth (The String Cheese Incident) at the Knotty Pine Supper Club.

After an October weekend in New Mexico, tour brings them out to the East Coast for their first time. Teaming up with regional act, Formula 5, the trio will see stops in New York City, Burlington, Bridgeport and more before returning to Colorado with shows in Boulder, Steamboat Springs plus an additional date in Taos, NM.

Drawing influence from artists such as Rage Against the Machine, J. Dilla, Primus, Weather Report, and many, many more, Cycles fuses an eclectic blend of genres to produce a truly unique and cohesive sound. Although only two years old, Cycles have over 200 shows under their belt with tours extending across the entire U.S. Fresh off of a lengthy summer tour in support of their first full-length album, Vacation, the band is dialed and at the top of their game.

Follow Cycles on Facebook for all of the band's latest updates!


Photo by Ryan Lewis

We have continued hear rave reviews about Cycles over the past year, and after a few months of spinning their first full-length album, Vacation, I understand why. The band's powerful sound is felt from the album's opening title track, as Patrick Harvey (guitar) leads the way with some dynamic, heavy riffs. Having been described as "psychedelic fusion rock," this notion proves itself true throughout this track. Tucker McClung (bass/vocals) holds down a super tight, funk-slap beat from start to finish on "The Aloe Parade," a track which also showcases the band's illustrative, quirky lyrics. 

Michael Wood (drums) and Harvey lead the way through "Green," an exploratory instrumental tune which takes the listener on a smooth, mellow journey. "The Store" follows as another upbeat, explosive rocker which features some seriously impressive transitions and chord changes throughout. Sometimes you have to stop and remind yourself that this is indeed a three-piece band, as the playing on this album couldn't be any tighter. "Everything Must Go" starts off with a notably ambient vibe and progresses with some striking jazzy moments, ultimately landing on a perfectly catchy, rocking chorus. I could see this track being a legit contender for some SiriusXM JamOn playtime.  

"Swing Bells" gives another glimpse at Cycles' impressive range, blending a steady, upbeat rhythm with heavy guitar riffs. The 'nature-esque' samples found towards the end of the track are a nice touch, and I can see this one having potential as one of the album's bigger jam vehicles. "Twilight" is another track which seems to have the perfect touch of mainstream sound, with Wood and McClung creating an unshakable rhythm, making way for more blistering guitar work from Harvey.

I feel confident in saying the "The Ruminator" may not only be the album's funkiest track, but possibly the most lyrically intriguing. There is also more than enough room for some tasty, exploratory improvisation within this 7-minute plus tune. The band clearly wanted to seal the album off with an exclamation point, as the final track "The Call" is a another fiery instrumental rager. This is one that could be utilized in the live setting as an explosive opener, as well as an emphatic set closer. 

Overall, Vacation is distinctively entertaining from start to finish. While this is just the first full-length album for Cycles, one could easily mistake this as the work of a group of seasoned veterans. The precision and overall attention to detail is truly refreshing to hear from a band which has just surpassed its second official year. The future is undoubtedly bright for this young band, and we look forward to watching these guys to make waves across the jam/festival scene for years to come.

Stream Cycles' Vacation its entirety here:

  • We recently had a chance to catch up with Cycles' Tucker McClung (bass/vocals) to learn a little more about the first full length album experience, as well as a few other exciting developments for the band. See below for our Q&A with Tucker, as well as the band's remaining fall tour dates and a few live videos.

So while it's hard to believe, Cycles is a three-piece band. You guys are based in Denver and have been going strong for two years now. How did you guys originally link up?

Tucker: (Michael) Wood and Patty (Harvey) had known each other for several years. They were both big fans of the band Phish and had aspirations of starting a band of their own. Then, Wood met me at an open jam in Fort Collins and asked me to move into a house in Denver to start Cycles. I guess you could say the rest is history.

Denver seems to have as hot of a music scene as any city. How does that fair for a newer band in 2017? You guys seem to have it figured out.

Tucker: Denver's music scene is indeed pretty hot, especially for the jams! The jam scene here was perfect for us. We've had a lot of help from the very beginning.

Let's talk about the new album, Vacation. This is the band's 3rd full length studio recording, correct? I always love hearing the progressions of each band's albums. What made this latest experience so unique?

Tucker: Recording in Blackhawk at Mountain Star Studios was really special for us. We recorded our first album in our basement jam space so being able to spend some time in a professional studio was a real treat. We got to sleep there too!

So you guys just had the opportunity to play the inaugural Canyon Jam. That lineup was a great representation of the jam scenes hottest. How did it feel to be included, and what else has the band excited this fall?

Tucker: We were incredibly thankful to be included in this year's Canyon Jam. I've heard about these bands from jam enthusiasts for years now, and it was an amazing feeling to share the stage with them. The Mishawaka is so special in its own right, so we were honored to be included!

Watch Cycles perform Les Claypool's "One Better" at Cervantes Other Side in Denver here:


9.29 Mesa Theatre - Grand Junction, CO

10.5 Marble Brewery – Albuquerque, NM

10.6 The Game Sports Bar – Las Cruces, NM

10.7 The Game Sports Bar – Las Cruces, NM

10.18 American Beauty – New York, NY +

10.19 Electric Haze - Worcester, MA +

10.20 The Shaskeen – Manchester, NH +

10.21 Nectar’s – Burlington, VT +

10.26 The Acoustic – Bridgeport, CT +

10.27 King Neptune’s – Lake George, NY +

10.28 Monopole Bar – Plattsburgh, NY

11.09 Taos Mesa Brewing – Taos, NM +

11.10 The Lariat – Buena Vista, CO +

11.11 The Lazy Dog – Boulder, CO +

11.16 Intrinzik – Montrose, CO +

11.17 Old Town Pub – Steamboat Springs, CO +

11.18 Historic Brown – Breckenridge, CO  

11.19 Ullrs Tavern - Winter Park, CO

11.24 The Bluebird Theatre - Denver, CO *

+ With Formula 5

* With The Magic Beans

Watch Cycles perform "Everything Must Go" and "Something In The Water" at Cervantes Other Side in Denver here:

Follow Cycles on Facebook for all of the band's latest updates!