The Bright Lights from Gone for Good is now out for public consumption. Their final recording with drummer Josh Lecce, (who passed away in a car accident in May 2009), was long delayed but it's out now and it's something that all involved should be proud of. Fuzzed out pop songs with splashes of rockabilly and swing are not something you come across often but if this record got the national airplay it deserved you would hear a lot more of it.
The guitar sound is what drives this record and when you hear it you'll know why. The guitar demands attention... it's got a heavy distortion on it but it's never offensive to the ears and it's got plenty of articulation so you can tell what notes are being played. It's just quality sound. That being said the rhythm section could have been a little higher in the mix. Case in point is the drums in "Bad Child". Josh is all over the kit and keeps everything tight. While the drums are not inaudible, in this song they should have been a real highlight. The bass is in a similar situation. It provides the record with a very solid bottom and roundness but a little more punch and volume would have made it the counterpart the guitar deserves.
It's not all guitar, bass and drums though. The real "x factor" for this album is the effects and added decorative touches. The rock n' roll piano banging and organ swells in "Bad Child" account for the almost mandatory keyboard element. Then on "Dinner Date" you have the horn accents that add to the swing nature of the song and give you another flavor most pop music lacks now a days. The reverbs and delays on the vocals are tasteful and add atmosphere to vocalist Nick Johns' voice. The conversations and idle chatter running through the track "4 am" add to the laid back feel of the song rather than distracting you from the music. It's the little things that make an album great and The Bright Lights is a perfect example of this.