Lights In Reverse

Lights In Reverse

Written by: BL on 25/10/2009 02:24:25

I always tend to think that post-hardcore is a difficult starting point for new bands. It's such a diverse and challenging genre that the end result often is that most bands opt to play it far too safe, and so you get all these identikit clones of each other. This is a problem that the Danish boys in Lights In Reverse will no doubt encounter, as people will inescapably draw parallels between their self titled three-track EP (free, by the way from, their MySpace) and the more established names in the genre. And unsurprisingly, as it is my job, I am one of these people.

However, the first thing I will say that is that for a three-track EP, the production is very, very good. The mix is well-rounded and the instruments have a warm quality to them that keeps each note, and each beat as clear as can be. The vocals sound polished and the dynamics are just right too (just check out the melody being played at the start of "Sugarcoat Baby!") - something a lot of other unsigned bands fail miserably at. With a production that highlights the music well, as well as some neat special effects spread throughout, the album sounds good - sonically speaking at least. When I think of the actual songs presented, it becomes more interesting and complicated.

While all three songs have a lot of the common, day-to-day ingredients you'd expect from this sort of post-hardcore (horror chords, dissonant riffage, some harmonised licks, the odd breakdown and so on), they vary quite significantly in presentation and construction, and I feel it is to the band's benefit that you will also hear sporadic moments derived from various other bands, but not enough to warrant saying anything is being shamelessly pasted. There are times where I feel a likening to Adept, other times a little bit of Herbrightskies, and occasionally even a bit of Lower Definition seeping through. What you actually end up with becomes a sound that has a worn, yet fresh feel to it - surprisingly.

So as mentioned all three tracks are unique, if not only because each song has at least one very catchy guitar moment - a well worked and repeated melodic hook that cleverly makes the song memorable instantly. The horror chords do wear a little thin at times and the short breakdowns aren't the best I've heard, but guitarists Peter and Stefan have struck a nice balance between discord and harmony overall. The screams, too, are good, and the singing is even better - in fact all three songs feature very good clean vocal passages from Jesse, tuneful and quite genuine. The screams are confined mostly to one particular range, but they're strong enough to convey the strained feeling behind the words in the lyrics.

For me a lot of times, the drummer has a crucial role in adding vital character to the music within post-hardcore, and can often make or break an album experience. Chris does a good job throughout generally speaking - decent fills and some good patterns (when the guitars begin at the start of "I Promised To Save This Title..." is a good example) - but occasionally I wish there were more double pedals or perhaps some more, (and faster) snare hits (the verse of "Sugarcoat Baby!" perhaps seems a little too simple). Thankfully though, these moments are few and far in between. Undoubtedly there is room for improvement though. Something that would apply to the other aspects that I've already mentioned, too. But I mean that sincerely because what you have here at the end of the day, is three catchy, and surprisingly memorable songs. And from them it's pretty apparent you have the early signs of things starting to fall in place for something big, and an even bigger future to work torwards.


Download: All three songs from their myspace
For the fans of: Adept, Herbrightskies, Lower Definition
Listen: Myspace

Release date September 2009

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