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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?
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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:

REMAINING FALL TOUR DATES: 

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!


The Jauntee & Cycles Will Join Forces For Late Winter Tour December 20, 2016 13:12

The end of Winter 2017 will see two of the most promising young bands in the jam scene team up for what guarantees to be an epic tour spanning from Virginia to Colorado and all stops down the line. Denver natives, Cycles, are teaming up with Boston based, The Jauntee, to deliver fans a powerhouse co-bill tour sure to electrify any live music lover. Right in the thick of the strongest period of exponential growth experienced by either band this tour features stops at The Mousetrap in Indianapolis, Martyrs’ in Chicago, Cervantes in Denver, and many more fantastic venues and cities!

The Jauntee: Averaging over one hundred shows a year – The Jauntee has quickly made a name for themselves in the New England music scene. Hailing from Boston, they’ve solidified a dedicated following in the Northeast, playing most staple venues in the area (ie. Paradise Rock Club, Nectar’s, The Spot Underground, Stone Church). Several New England festival appearances (ie. StrangeCreek, Camp Coldbrook, Disc Jam) and extensive touring down the East Coast and across the Midwest have given them Nationwide recognition, with sold out shows as far west as Denver, CO (Quixote’s). A focus on live improvisation, set list variety, and musical exploration makes every show different from the last, truly making The Jauntee a live act to see again and again. Drawing influence from a wide variety of bands, The Jauntee’s improvisational landscape spans multiple genres, including: Funk/Rock/Jazz/Progressive/Bluegrass/Psychedelic and Ambient music. Their willingness to explore genres, abandon all song structure, and dive into ‘the weird’ sets them apart from your average upcoming Jam Band. They aim to push the boundaries of improvisation, embrace the moment and engage the audience. With an ever-expanding song catalog and an inclination for open ended improvisation, every show promises to be a unique experience.

Cycles: The Denver-based power trio, Cycles, comprised of Patrick Harvey (guitar), Michael Wood (drums), and Tucker McClung (bass/vocals) are on a musical mission to melt your mind. Self-described as “psychedelic rock fusion”, Cycles effortlessly blends rock, jazz, hip-hop, soul, and much more creating a versatile soundscape that makes each live show different than the last. Striving for variety in each set, Cycles carefully construct a show designed to thrill. Each member brings a special set of skills and influences to the table. Living in the same house together and practicing hours upon hours each day has created a profound chemistry between the band members that truly shines through in the live setting. Tucker McClung is a powerful commander of the bass who never shies away from applying the melodic nature of the instrument all the while leading the show with compelling vocals. Michael Wood, with his tight and jazzy drum beats, works tirelessly to keep the band on track through intricate tempo changes and wide-open space. Patrick Harvey’s dominating guitar shred is what completes the band’s sound and often drives them to take the jams into outer space.