Peninsular Place

The Magazine

January 29, 2012

Lawless Carver Finds Their Groove

Photo by Kimberly Anne Wilkins

Guitarist Hunter Boyd is “literally speechless, sometimes, by what these cats come up with …and this is just the beginning.”

Well, it’s essentially the beginning, but it’s been brewing for a while. True, Ypsi-based Lawless Carver began, properly, less than two years ago. They’ve kept busy (through live shows and an EP) churning out their propulsive, tone-barreling space-rock squalls and trippy/swooning ambient blends of percussive electronica and spindly, metal-zinged math-rock meditations, but most of the quintet has been playing together through other means for years.

Boyd, with bassist Andy Lukofsky and drummer Ryan Hampton had a band called We Only Kill Cops in 2009, which was “pretty much a heavier version of what we’re doing now,” according to Lukofsky. Hampton went off to join another band (Bloodlined Calligraphy) and guitarist Adam Nola joined – only to see Nola eventually leave, as Hampton simultaneously seesawed back in. However, 11 years ago, when Nola was only 14, he joined another band with Boyd and Lukofsky called Black Market Surgery.

Keyboardist Dustin Mcdonald, meanwhile, had been performing in the scene for a few years while day-jobbing at a small Ypsi venue with Hampton in the late 00’s.

“[Nola] was a youngster that would frequent the bar. He seemed alright,” Mcdonald remembers. “[He] didn’t get out of hand …usually.”

He found out later how well the youngster could play guitar – and though he’d never met Lukofsky or Boyd until Lawless Carver’s fateful birth inside Nola’s basement in early ’10, he knew, assuredly, “after a couple hours and a few adult beverages that these were guys I could really click with, musically.”

Nola said their approach is just “finding what works best around what each other is writing…” dotted with “calls and echoes between each instrument.” Lukosfky, meanwhile, said he just locks in with Hampton and shunts / shakes / surges things forward. Their sound, albeit orbiting the shimmering atmospheres of space-rock – or perhaps affecting a more keyed-up jazz-tinged post-rock trip, could never truly be pinned down. As Boyd says, each appreciates a wide palette of styles and genres.

Last month they released a live EP, recorded at Detroit’s Groovebox Studios, a fan-funded recording project secured through online fundraising site Kickstarter. The GBS EP was recorded and filmed live in one take, “no overdubs …no studio tricks.”

“We’ve been at it for years,” said Boyd, “but it wasn’t until 2011 that this Petri-dish of musical DNA sprouted legs.”

The all-instrumental format hasn’t lead them astray yet, so none of them question it. One of their recent music videos is set to avant-garde filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky’s work – just a whiff of the band’s other quirky/experimental cultural penchants that range from David Lynch to antiquing, dark humor, whiskey and creative people.

Boyd adds to the list, “Creativity (in anything really).” Nola chimes in: “quality craftsmanship.”

It shows.

For more information on Lawless Carver, visit and


About the Author

Jeff Milo
Jeff Milo
Jeff is another awesome member of the iSPY team.

Peninsular Place


Death Grips / No Love Web Deep / Performing in Detroit 11/19

I’m drafting assessments of this new wrecked-up, techno-doom, rap-punk rampage of an album when its creators tweet this out into the post-apocalyptic ether: “…as loud as possible in every speaker u got…” Cryptic. Fitt...
by Jeff Milo


Jack & The Bear

On a cool evening in middle October, the seven members of Jack & the Bear settled at a cozy wooden table inside B-24 Espresso Bar. Sipping large mugs of coffee and sharing cookies, Brandon James, Adam Schreiber, Evan Close,...
by Treasure Groh


Motion City Soundtrack

Detroit bound with a new album in tow Motion City Soundtrack has been sharing their upbeat sound with the world for over 12 years, and now they’re doing things a bit differently. Recently, iSPY had the chance to speak with dr...
by Mary Simkins


milo music

Why I Write About Music

“BLOOOOZE ex-SPLO-zhun!!!….Man of my nature always got the trip!” Jon Spencer… This guy, not even 6 ft tall, and what, he must be 50 by now, lightning in leather, this sleek slithery sanctifier speckled with sweat s...
by Jeff Milo

Peninsular Place
La Sera - Photo by Magda Wosinska

La Sera’s Katy Goodman Explains it All

From Pussy Riot and gaming to relationships and animal rescue – nothing is off limits with La Sera’s Katy Goodman Katy Goodman is every woman. She is the girl next door. She is the sexy rockstar on stage. She is a gamer wh...
by Amanda Slater




The Redneck Poet from Gadsden, Alabama Drive about two hours northeast of the beautiful University of Alabama campus and you’ll reach Gadsden. It’s the kind of place where shotguns are toted as loosely as iPods, where you�...
by Paul Kitti

Nervous But Excited - Photo by Susie Giang

A Farewell to Folk: Nervous But Excited’s Last Hurrah (For Now)

To say that the name Nervous But Excited is an extension of the musicians themselves would be a misnomer, as duo Sarah Cleaver and Kate Peterson appear to pretty much anything but nervous. And as for the “But Excited” part?...
by Treasure Groh

Kelly Klever Massage


“But thaaaat’s my life…” Neil Hamburger at the Lager House Tonight (9.18)

I usually write about music, but this is different. Neil Hamburger is different. One of his routines, a live recording, came on the comedy-station on my satellite radio the other day (he’s a stand-up comic y’see) and you’...
by Jeff Milo


Detropia Premier (Soundtrack) + Congress’ Maker

Two things this week: ONE: Detropia is a surreal insight into the accelerated depletion of Detroit, in manufacturing, financing, and in population, directed by the Oscar-nominated creators of Jesus Camp, exploring what the Moto...
by Jeff Milo


Music Makers // Congress – Shigeto – SelfSays and Buffay, too

I’m indoors cuz I can’t go out… Actually, I can’t get out. Over here in metro Detroit, the indomitable/abominable Woodward Dream Cruise is currently slugging through our main vein of transportation, with pop-up carnival...
by Jeff Milo