June 9th, 2011
Album Review: The Bright Light Social Hour – The Bright Light Social Hour
If you told me that The Bright Light Social Hour had been frozen in time for 40 years only to unleash their funk on us in 2011, I wouldn’t be surprised. We all know the technology exists, stop kidding yourself. Take one look and listen to the band. Their jamming and facial hair is straight from the late 60’s, early 70’s of the rock n’ roll era.
As each music genre seems to be going through a revival these days – from bluegrass to honky tonk to surf rock – The Bright Light Social Hour wasn’t going to sit idly and let us forget the grooviest genre of them all. From organ blasts and extended guitar solos to undulating bass lines and don’t-quit drums, their eponymous, debut album screams funk louder than any other recent album. It’s a transport back to the days of all-out rock of bands like Cactus.
Having experienced their live show, The Bright Light Social Hour has done a great job capturing the energy and power they have in person on this album. At times, some of the bubblier songs are misleading, but songs like the final track “Rhubarb Jam” set the record straight. Furious instrumental jamming for more than three minutes can make quick work of the soles of your dancing shoes. But even the lighter songs like “Shanty” return to the band’s roots given enough track length.
When they are present, the vocals have a special chant-along quality. They are simple and acute. In a millennium when The Bright Light Social Hour’s discography gets dug out of a time capsule, there will be no analytic discussion as to what the social significance of the lyrics to “Back and Forth,” the single off the album. Little will those people (or maybe “not people”) know that for four minutes fans would scream the title chorus like a religious experience.
If you haven’t been catching my drift, The Bright Light Social Hour’s first album is downright fun. It’s what you expect from a band that has given one member’s (Jack’s) mustache its own personality. Being able to translate that onto a piece of plastic that can play in a car is applause worthy. But for as much as this album is worth buying for your collection, The Bright Light Social Hour’s live show can’t be surpassed.
On Friday night the band from Austin will open for Heartless Bastards (also from Austin). Courtesy of Warehouse Live, we have two pairs of free tickets that The Loop Scoop will be giving away for the show. You seriously won’t want to miss it, especially if you’re able to win a pair for yourself (and partner of your choice).
Comment below to win (use a valid email address so we can contact you if you win) OR use Facebook to “like” this posting. Winners will be chosen at 9:00AM tomorrow morning.