Lights In Reverse

With All The Ends Before Beginnings

Written by: PP on 09/06/2010 16:21:48

How did Lights In Reverse become so good in the space of just over half a year? I had next to no interest in their self-titled debut EP because it felt a little amateurish in many ways, as if they wrote and released it too early for it to be a good product, but it's crazy how much difference a little time can do to a band's ability. "With All The Ends Before Beginnings" is the Copenhagen screamo/post-hardcore outfit's sophomore EP, and it's an improvement on every aspect, something that the band recognizes themselves as well since their Myspace now offers only tracks from this EP.

If the screams were decent on "Lights In Reverse", they are now superb. They are so technically proficient that it's easy to decipher every screamed line, which has been achieved without the loss of strength or thickness in the vocals, drawing a close parallel to the first Gwen Stacy vocalist Cole Wallace, who was renowned for his ability to deliver powerful screams despite being completely decipherable at the same time. In fact, lots of aspects of this EP remind me of the first Gwen Stacy record. I loved that album, so that's a good thing.. The clean vocal/scream contrast and interplay follows a very similar format, although instrumentally Lights In Reverse rely much less on chug-chuggachugga-chug breakdowns than on slick scaling riffs and dynamic leads that keep the songs instrumentally rewarding. Guitar combo Stefan/Peter deserve credit here, because there isn't a moment on the record where the two aren't coming up with interesting compositions and memorably technical sections.

Then there are the clean vocals, which previously were in danger of sounding somewhat flat, but now function as a great contrasting element to the screams, adding sweet pop melodies to make the choruses - and many verses, too - catchy. "These walls have no windows, the doors are sealed so tight" is one of my favorite passages on this record ("Carus Matris"), as it combines desperation to pop sensibility, absolutely demanding the listener to sing along. Elsewhere the screams "trust me when I say, I have rules about this", are supported by simultaneous cleans to really make an effect on the listener. But there are many such moments across just seven tracks, and at no point does it feel like one of the songs should've been left out. However, the short-lived rave/techno/electro effects at the end of the EP feel like a territory Lights In Reverse has no need to explore, and one would certainly hope this is an area they'll leave alone on future releases.

In the end, "With All The Ends Before Beginnings" is a solid sophomore EP, and one that should open some more doors to this young outfit. If you ask me, the band is ready for a much bigger audience with this record, as it's one of the best things I've heard coming out of the Danish scene for a while now. Even the production is superb and a little more natural, steering clear of the typical 'CB Studios played live' sound despite that being the choice of recording studio.

Download: Carus Matris, No Star Is Safe In Stormhold
For the fans of: first Gwen Stacy record, Trusted Few, Adept, She Is Malignant
Listen: Myspace

Release date 19.04.2010

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