ALBUM OF THE DAY: BLOODLIGHTS, SIMPLE PLEASURES
Every once in a while I get the urge to have some punk in my life. You know how they say, “If you used to be punk, you never were?” Well, I guess there’s a small part of me that will always have a soft spot for mohawks and anarchists (see: The Young Ones, Vyvyan and Rick). When it comes down to it, punk was my real gateway into metal, and when I hear elements of it pop up in some of my favorite metal bands’ songs, I feel like I should exchange knowing glances with them or acknowledge it in some way. Like, “Ahh, I know what influenced that.”
I stumbled upon Bloodlights through a friend of mine who plays in a glam metal band. His real love is high-speed punk-influenced groups like The Hellacopters and Hanoi Rocks. We both enjoy the amalgamation of Scandinavian sleaze and punk, and Bloodlights fit right in there. Somehow, I completely missed the fact that they had a new album out last year. I wish someone had told me about it sooner, because it is excellent. Hmm, a person in charge of letting people know when a band has new material out so that said people can write about it instead of chasing down the actual musicians for information? There’s a thought.
While the Norwegian group’s eponymous first album had a distinctly garage-rock/punk sound kind of like Backyard Babies, this new(ish) release, Simple Pleasures, edges more into a speed metal/hard rock territory, not unlike the cheeky fun of fellow country-mates Turbonegro, especially with the song “City of the Dead.” The chorus, with its back-up harmonizing and dismissive refrain of “Hey sucker, kiss yer ass good-bye,” is a dead-ringer for the party-boy band, yet still really in tune with what Bloodlights is; guitars with attitude and simple-yet-awesomely catchy melodies. “Off the Track” edges into Motorhead territory, with its speed and dueling guitars while “Just One More” has a boogie rock-ness that’s kind of a throwback to ‘70s blues and rock n’ roll but without being a complete Thin Lizzy rip-off. My favorite tune off the record has to be “Ultimate High,” though. It’s so good I really can’t think of a way to describe it that would do it justice.
I recommend checking out the band’s first record, Bloodlights, too — especially the songs “Where the Stars Don’t Shine” and “One Eye Open.” And “Addiction.” Screw it, just get the whole thing.