There’s a light that never goes out and let’s hope it belongs to Bright Lights, Big Zombie (www.myspace.com/brightlightsbigzombie and http://www.facebook.com/pages/Bright-Lights-Big-Zombie/125542644125373 ), the latest signings for Exeter label Pastime Records. I had mentioned in a previous post that I thought this self titled album (Pastime 017) is magnificent and maybe I should tell you why I love this album so much.
First, and I guess always first is that they have created a wonderful sound on this album and at times they remind me of so many bands that I have loved through the years from early Primal Scream and Ride and The Pastels a la Velvet Underground. At times I hear hints of The Railway Children, early Modern English, The Fire Engines, Josef K, June Brides, The Close Lobsters, Orange Juice, Felt, Apple Boutique, 1990’s, Galaxie 500, Love Tractor, etc. – I think you get the picture – just an all round wonderful noise that presses all the right buttons.
Something I should mention is that I didn’t realize this before and only recently found out from the band, that Leo Collett played previously with A Fine Day For Sailing, which is pretty cool as I really love their releases. Also I found out that 3 of the 4 members had also played in a band before they became BLBZ and released an album under the name Console (which I would love to hear) and recorded a second album which was never released, so they have had some past experience which no doubt really helped them on this album to create a real masterpiece.
As usual, I will give you a few of my thoughts and scribblings on some of the songs and who they reminded me of as I was listening to them – “Particle and Velocity”, the first track brought me back to an old favourite, Love Tractor especially when they covered Kraftwerk’s “Neon Lights” in their own unique style and blend that with a good dose of Velvet Underground stylings and a bit of Television and some early Primal Scream, you start to form the picture. “Sad Dreams, Rainy Mornings” brings me back to early Modern English and how they could create some real magical moments – Love the guitars and how the song builds into an amazing crescendo of sounds and at the end which reminds me of Apple Boutique. Track 3 meanders like a folky Velvet Underground meets Syd Barrett. “Hold Tight” with it’s funky backbeat reminds me of Scotland’s APB (do you remember them?) and with hints of Orange Juice.
Then comes a real classic, “Figure” which really moves with a wonderful groove and has vocals that blends perfectly, part soaring, part dreamy, part groovy – Wow, what a song – reminds me of Josef K and The June Brides when they hit their stride – Pure Pop Genius!!! – For this song alone you should pick up this album – it’s like Television’s “Marquee Moon” and although it’s just over 5 minutes long – it’s one of those songs that could very easily go on forever, and you wouldn’t mind at all. Maybe even a bit of The Railway Children and how they can put together so many songs that could easily be the Perfect Pop Song.
“Inevitable” starts off by reminding me of a folky Echo and the Bunnymen and then drifts off into a different psychpop territory with hints of the East – is that a sitar I hear. “Voices In The Dark” sounds like The Velvets meet the Pastels with Galaxie 500 guiding things along and maybe Ride helping speed things up a bit – Could this be Psych Twee Pop for a revived Sarah records? Track 8 “Snowglobe” has a nice guitar/drum assault going on with more interesting meandering guitars in the background and lots going on. “Complicated” is more perfect pop with a bit of an edge and would be amazing to experience live with those beautiful guitars. “Decendo” starts slow and quiet (maybe hints of Low) and builds into many layers of sounds propelled by a great bassline in the undergrowth and since it’s an instrumental – that just adds to my liking it that much more as I always love a good instrumental. More great guitars and drums on “Against The Light” and “Everytime, Everytime” closes things off beautifully, starting slow and building into glorious sound cacophony.
I wish these guys the very best on an amazing album and really looking forward to hearing more from this very talented bunch. As a postscript and just to prove how impeccable their taste is they have agreed to cover Television Personalities “She’s My Yoko” for volume 4 of our tribute series – stay tuned for that.