The Mystery Lights transport you back to the era of flower power with their latest, eponymous album.
The Mystery Lights core of Mike Brandon and LA Solano originate from Salinas, California, but now reside in New York with other band members Alex Amini, Kevin Harris and Noah Kohll. Gaining a following through their energetic live performances, they were approached by Soul label Daptone Records who release this, their first rock album, on the Wick Records subsidiary.
Recent release, double header ‘Too Many Girls’/ ‘Too Tough To Bear’, pairs the two most immediately likeable tracks on the album. In ‘Too Many Girls’ the guys are surrounded by an excess of female company and rather than boasting about it, bemoan the need for a bit of space, “Girls in my bed, girls on my floor.” Oh how the heart bleeds for them! It typifies the hedonistic feel of the music, which has the retro ’60s feel of the early Rolling Stones. Incidentally, ‘Melt’ is another song than betrays lifestyle excess’s as Mike Brandon sings of being sick of being drunk and high and self destructive. Poor lad.
‘Too Tough To Bear’ contrasts the fun with a tale of a troubled girl who takes no comfort from her family and friends, “I met a sad little girl, she doesn’t care about her life …. she’s got everything but she doesn’t care, she’s too tough to bear … she walks around dressed in black, unnecessary weights travelling on her back, she’s got a self destruction mind and a heart of stone.” It has a spaghetti western twangy guitar hook which woos you in enticingly.
Opener ‘Follow Me Home’ is powerful, and the garage rock psychedelia is delivered with complete conviction and energy to a backdrop of organ and reverb. It plays straight into the next track ‘Flowers In My Hair, Demons In My Head’ with a change of tempo, but other than that there isn’t a huge amount of light and shade or variation across this offering.
At times the production is a little foggy as the over-excitable cymbals and strong guitars drown out the vocals a little. But if you hanker to be transported back to the era of flower power and archetypal naughty rock stars, it’s well worth checking out.
‘The Mystery Lights’ is out now on WICK Records.
This The Mystery Lights article was written by Ellie Scott, a GIGsoup contributor. Edited by Natalie Whitehouse.