Well, it happened. I finally heard an album that transcends criticism and is perfect in just about every way imaginable. So, let’s all do the band a solid and give them a round of applause, no matter where you’re at. Now that that’s taken care of, we can get into the meat and potatoes of the album, and my my, was it ever tasty.
Officially released by We Are Monroe in early May, of 2017, White Lights takes all the benefits and beauty of bands like The Cure, Joy Division, and even a little bit of The Cars, and slams them together with non-stop dance action. No sad, brooding boys are they.
The first thing I noticed about the album was that my legs and feet just couldn’t keep still. Set against a backdrop of savage dance-like drum and bass, performed by Ben and Pete respectably, the songs all had kick. This dynamic duo pressed their rhythmic presence to the forefront of each song. This should have come as no surprise, as the two instruments were recorded together to capture that energy. It was a good, great, grand call.
I was doubly impressed with the use of fuzz on the bass, too. It was added with skill, and did more to influence the dynamic of the songs than one would think. The case in point is “Mind Games.” The bass starts the song with a thick tongue of sound, while the guitars do their notes; then, when the guitar tone brings the heavy, the bass drops the aforementioned fuzz to accommodate the song. It allows the power to still be there, without things getting too muddled.
Next up comes the props to singer and rhythm guitarist Pat. Always slathered with high-intensity emotion, his vocals have an edge that’s never far from cutting you. Even during his more mellow moments, there is something sharp about the attack he brings. I’m awfully surprised he doesn’t spit out mud with all the grit he’s got in his voice. Sound-wise, he’s got shades of Chris Thile with some Chris Cornell and Ian Thornley thrown in there for good measure. It’s a well-crafted sound that adds something inexplicable to each song. I wonder how this would translate to a live show. Just my luck, and yours too. They’ll be performing at Turbo Haüs on June 16th. We can all see for ourselves together.
Lastly, as far as favourite songs on the album go, my brain is torn between “Mind Games” and “Perimeter,” while my heart says, “Fuck that, it’s all of them.” I think I’m gonna go with my heart on this one folks. Give the album a listen and let me know what your favourite song is in the comments below.
Written by Aaron Deck
*edited by Kate Erickson