Very scrappy and committed punk rock from The Mystery Lights. For WICK (a Daptone subsidiary), the band release their second album Too Much Tension! This is a record that moves like a cannon, barrelling through while drawing on the likes of The Kinks and Television. Best is the lead singer's powerful yelp that acts as guide to the the songs.
Vinyl LP £18.49 WCK-004LP
LP on WICK Records.
- Shipping cost: £3.35 ?
CD £12.49 WCK-004
CD on WICK Records.
- Shipping cost: £1.05 ?
Scuzzy, yelpy, and unbelievably retro, The Mystery Lights’s second record ‘Too Much Tension’ is a record that, while enjoyable if you like that sort of thing, looks exclusively to the past for sonic inspiration. I was immediately worried when I read the press release for this record, which mostly just talks about the various bands the band listen to / sound like. For instance, they’ve apparently been ‘digging’ into the ‘eclectic’ sounds of The Kinks, Television, and Suicide (eclectic?!?!?!).
This album is almost saved by the singing (eclectic?!?) of Mike Brandon, who sounds like a cross between Tom Verlaine and David Byrne. It lends the tracks a kind of dynamism that is lacking in the instrumentation. I’ve not really got much else to say about this record. It’s mired in the past. It’s just rehashing stuff that’s gone before and not in a way that’s knowing. It’s not even bad it’s just tired. It is to Suicide, Television, and The Kinks, what The Hard Rock Cafe is to The Ramones: a lazy, easy pastiche (eclectic?!?)
9/10 Harry 28th May 2019
The Mystery Lights are one of my favourite current bands - particularly favourite to see live. The last four times they've been through London their shows have been explosive - from Mike Brandon leaping, shrieking and bouncing off everything on stage - to L.A. Solano standing back like a dusky wizard in a black hat unleashing powerful lightning bolts of fuzz and tremolo. Their first album was a great blend of 60s rock and roll, garage, psych and blues. This one sees them return with the same urgency and energy - sticking to the great cornerstones of their sound that click perfectly - but decorating the surface with a touch more experimentation, sounds and noises. A band with their own original sound - kings of the guitar riff - paying homage to our favourite 60s guitar sounds.
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