If you missed Brightlight City’s 2017 EP ‘Our Future’s Not Dead’ you might want to go back and have a listen. With four excellent songs crammed into its runtime, it showed serious promise. Now, with ‘The Harmony & The Chaos’ they’re flexing their muscles with a full-length. They’re working hard to live up to it.
After entering the breach with the storming ‘Statues and Monuments’, they manage to sustain their energy, even when the shouting and hijinks fall away. However, it’s the way they do so which works so well. They fall back on the upbeat charm to give their songs drive. Consequently, the sound sits comfortably amongst early 2000s post-hardcore bands like Hundred Reasons and Reuben. You can hear their influence throughout. Particularly the way Jamie Giarraputo’s vocals give the songs extra millage. His voice brings the songs alive and he really sells ‘Through the Lense’, by using a style that inadvertently tugs at the heartstrings. The counterpoint vocals from Justin Giarraputo and Tom Stock help shape the sound too, adding gang-chant brightness to songs such as ‘Who You Are’. Hence, it’s a sound that could appeal to fans of Press To Meco with its lighter, fun edge.
Part of the post-hardcore sound is the clever use of lead guitar and here it is essential in the album’s makeup. It allows ‘Feast On Fear’ to comfortably meander without getting lost or sagging while giving it space to breathe just a little. However, to keep things varied, ‘You’ll Get What’s Coming’ sees them simply adding a stomping keyboard, giving the song an unusual vibe while the unsettling chant means you won’t forget it in a hurry.
Living up to their promise, Brightlight City have delivered a strong record. Although they trade on an established post-hardcore sound, they flirt confidently with new ideas. The warm approach to melody give the songs heart, while a dirty edge keeps everything from becoming sickly sweet, but it’s undeniably fun and there is plenty to recommend.
‘The Harmony & The Chaos’ by Brightlight City is released on 17th May on Undead Collective.
Words by Ian Kenworthy (@WhisperingSand)