A Charming Debut

A first listen to ‘Like Angels’ tells me that Screaming Lights are going to be one of those bands that really catch your ear and refuse to let go until they’ve filled it with stories of modern day stress and seduction.

Opener ‘Volts’ wakes you up with an electric shock of super-charged incisive guitars and snarling, surly vocals that build to a slightly more mellow, but equally driven chorus. It’s a great start to a very promising album and one that’s hard to live upto, but the instant injection of chilled electro that is ‘21st Century’ is a stroke of genius, proving that Screaming Lights are a versatile act.

‘Hello Tomorrow’ has some pretty weird lyrics that include heavy use of the words, “fuck you” but it somehow works as the vocal lines careers across some cool guitar licks that wouldn’t sound out of place on a Chili Peppers record if they weren’t propelled by such taught percussion. ‘Champagne Socialist’ features some far more elegant and hard-hitting lyrics with a heavily politicised message battering your eardrums over a militant drumbeat.

The mix of echoing, charismatic vocals and surging electro-enhanced indie beats is often a little reminiscent of modern day Placebo, which is no bad thing. The fractious, surging pop of ‘Exit Wound’ channels the same tension as Molko’s band but with a more mainstream indie edge.

There are some slightly more lacklustre tracks like ‘Air in a lung’, which fails to really impress with its languid pace and glossy piano work just feeling like a temporary moment of mediocre mellow nestled among the album’s big hitters. The bubbling little ditty ‘Anymore’ feels a little out of place to start with as it’s a sweet, upbeat little number, but it soon grows on you as a valued part of the album.

‘Like Angels’ is a very promising debut, packed with interesting and energetic tunes that are turbo-charged with sharp guitarwork. The Liverpool rockers are definitely on their way up and have produced an album that should gain them some well-deserved attention.