Charleston's omnivorous metal band LUCILE dropped a defiantly political single "Can You Hear Me?" | Photo by Kayla Boshard

“Can You Hear Me?,” the second single from Charleston eclectic heavy metal band LUCILE, drops with a bit of righteous anger and brutally confident riffage that meets the moment.

Written in the wake of the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade last year, it’s the first lead vocal turn for bassist JoAnna Ratcliffe, who shares the microphone with the band’s new vocalist Ivan Dominguez and Cera Callahan, formally in Mothmother.

Combining some older riffs the band had long kicked around with some seed lyrics from Ivan, Ratcliffe steps up to bring a Kim-Gordon-style outrage to the band’s pulverizing yet melodic attack.

Ratcliffe, a 9-year veteran of the U.S. Navy, said the impact of the ruling hit her particularly hard.

“This song to me is my personal response to the repeal of Roe,” she said, “how I personally have signed a contract valuing up to and including the cost of my own life for a country that doesn’t give a sh*t  about me as a woman.” 

She identifies a key lyric, “freedom ain’t free, it’s just a disease,” as speaking to her experience of daily life in a misogynistic world where her personal freedom is constantly under assault.

“Women are generally not heard when we speak, so it’s an honor to have a platform to say my piece,” she said. “This [song] is my way of saying, “Hey, motherf***er, listen up, I got something to say.” 

While just the band’s second single, Ratcliffe and her brother, guitarist Josh Quigley, have long been forging the music of LUCILE (which is named after a character from the grizzly zombie series The Walking Dead) with a rotation of drummers and vocalists. In fact, they recently parted ways with another drummer, DJ Edwards, who is moving to Austin to further his music career. 

“We don’t have a specific sound, we’re not the kind of band that wants to be looped in with a specific genre,” said Ratcliffe, who notes that they pull from a range of hardcore and punk influences in addition to heavy metal. “We just kind of made our own little sound. I don’t think it really sounds like it’s punk or metal specifically or hardcore for that matter.”

The group is currently incorporating a new drummer and has plans for another single and then an EP in the works at The Lab. 

“We have a lot of material that we kind of all want to get done at once,” she said. “It will be a big old binder of an album. That will probably happen in the next year or so.”

Listen to LUCILE’s newest single on Spotify.

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