BRIGHT LIGHTS, BIG ZOMBIE are a four-piece Indie band from Exeter. Three of the four had previously played together under the name, ‘Console,’ and this, the new band’s eponymous debut has apparently been some eighteen months in the making.
To a large extent, the listener will appreciate the time taken to produce these twelve interesting and varied tracks. They all have a sort of lo-fi production quality about them, which makes the individual songs quite endearing and enjoyable. And there is no doubting the musicianship and composition of the songs.
Yes – there is a slightly ‘early Nineties’ feel to a good few of the tracks, but that’s fine by me. There’s plenty of shuffling drums and jangly guitars and that kind of stuff. ‘Voices In The Dark,’ has an almost anthemic feel about it, with its quiet and broody opening flowering into a Stone Roses type of epic.
‘Decendo’ is the other standout track for me. Again building from a quiet and melodic guitar intro, it bursts into more of a moody rock tune with some nice guitar and key changes. It’s an instrumental, this one. And this perhaps highlights the one downside to the album.
(And it’s a rather big ‘downside’ I’m afraid, as far as I’m concerned!)
Musically, I think this album shows pretty decent potential. It would certainly rank well above average as far as Indie albums go …. were it not for the vocals! I’m afraid they somewhat detract from an otherwise promising debut. What I hear is a delivery, both in the lead and backing that seems to be trying REALLY hard to remain relaxed. Much of the album features a ‘hushed’ style that I feel is being used in an attempt to control the pitch, but actually does little to disguise the short-comings.
Bit of a pity, I think – but an easily sorted dilemma, by increasing the band members from four to five and recruiting a lead singer that will allow the others to continue making some otherwise pretty decent sounds.
(Released through Pastime Records and available now – October 2011)