Lights Action

Welcome To The New Cold World

Written by: TL on 18/02/2009 14:29:00

Lights Action is the name of a British four piece who have slowly but steadily been rolling their career into launch-position over the last couple of years, getting ready to lay siege on the aural attention of the music scene and yesterday the world finally witnessed their first barrage of artillery fire, hitting stores in form of the band's debut LP "Welcome To The New Cold World". For those who haven't heard anything from the band's "All Eyes To The Morning Sun EP" or seen them on one of their countless supporting spots around the UK, I can reveal that we're dealing with a band that's not as easy to pigeonhole as it would seem on first glance. The most telltale sign of the band is the ambition that is embedded in all their songs, the ambition to write the great, cinematic pop/rock song, which comes out through a sound that may be strikingly similar to Brit-rockers like Snow Patrol, Your Vegas, the American imitators in Search/rescue and even Coldplay, but also reveals hints of bands as different as Bon Jovi, Funeral For A Friend and The Receiving End Of Sirens.

The new album opens up retardedly strong, and even after several consecutive listens, I still think the haunting slowness of "Moscow", its echoing drums and its epic stroke, are what's going to stay with me the longest. It's a composition that is plain and straightforward, yet still brilliant, and it makes it feel like a double loss when the following two songs, "Battle Of Lovers" and "Signals To Radar" come around in all their mellow pop-anthem-ness, because they just don't deliver on the promise of epic drama made by the intro. They're good and catchy songs, but they just feel a bit too shallow to fit with the opening. Thankfully the album starts to regain it's momentum around the middle of its playing time, with the Western-like "Travellin' Man", the twangy guitars of which are the ones accountable for my minds journey to Bon Jovi's "Wanted Dead Or Alive" and "Blaze Of Glory". It's followed by a couple of songs that are then resposible for me mentioning FFAF, as both "I Woke Up In A Civil War" and "Passions Of The Lonely" are very similar to what that band did on "Tales Don't Tell Themselves", and the latter of the two is actually another of the best tracks of this disc, its chorus catching on instantly.

"When are we going home? / I don't wanna' dance tonight! / I don't wanna' feel alright! / I just wanna be all alone!"

It's pretty much the only up-beat song that really comes through though, and as the album moves on, it becomes clearer and clearer that Lights Action's strength is rather located in the lingering slower songs, were momentum is solidly built step by step and the individual part has more room to breathe. Fortunately those songs are in the majority, the best example being in "Black Feathers" which also clearly showcases more of the band's attempts at cinematic grandeur through its star-gazing, violin backed "On to the edge of the world" refrain. By the time "The Bottom Of The Sea" closes the album it is almost back on the same high level on which it started out, and while the song stumbles a bit in an intro that accidentally sounds like a very classic pop song (Atomic Kitten; "Whole Again", or am I hearing things?) it quickly regains its footing through a Beatles-esque choir part, to end strong with another memorable refrain.

"All the riches in the world / Couldn't save me / from the bottom of the sea"

All in all "Welcome To The New Cold World" leaves you with an impression that it is an album that manages to be both easily accessible and promising of reward on many repeat listens. It does feel a slight bit like a disappointment in the beginning, simply because 'the singles' betray the implication of a coming epic story the opening song makes - Halfway through "Moscow" I was expecting a Brit-rock Coheed And Cambria and then "Battle Of Lovers" sounds like The Automatic, so can you blame me for feeling let down? I wonder what kind of great heights could be made if Lights Action would apply the careful songwriting they use in their quiet songs to their fast and loud ones too. That's for the future to show though, for now, just pick up "Welcome To The New Cold World", especially if you'd like to have more proof that the sound on 'the best rock album of 2008' (Viva La Vida.. *SIGH*) is now done better, grander and more varied by yet another shamefully underappreciated band.


Download: Moscow, Passions Of The Lonely, Travellin' Man, Black Feathers,
For The Fans Of: Snow Patrol, Your Vegas, Search/Rescue

Release Date: 17.02.2009
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