CD Review: Lights On “Here Comes the Ocean”

I’m sitting in a room lit by five candles. Why? Because the electricity in my apartment has been turned off by The Man. No refrigerator, no internet, no music, no hot water – nothing.  And then I recall a song I heard recently: “We Live Underground” by Lights On; a fresh post-punk band from San Diego, CA.

Ha! I can’t help but smile. Freaky fuzz tones, crazy synth, pounding drums and penetrating vocals, “I can go for days on end/take what’s mine and leave the rest”…“take no refuge/leave no trace/we can live by candlelight” – I was hooked. And when I got my hands on their debut album, Here Comes the Ocean, released July 6th, the power returned to my apartment. Lights On!

Consisting of Timothy Hines (guitars, vocals, synths, keyboards, piano, and other sounds), Mike Kamoo (guitars , bass, drums, keyboards, and other sounds), Andrew Bernhardt (guitars, keys, backing vocals and other sounds), Robert Netcoh (bass and other sounds), and Brian Murray (drums), Lights On is what happens when ’60s garage rock and ’80s new wave have a baby in 2010.

Here Comes the Ocean starts with a splash that shakes your hips, and then engulfs you in eclectic sounds until you find yourself swimming deep in dirty guitars, electric organs, modern synths, and hard-hitting beats.  Hines’ vocal range is impressive, especially in “Red Lights Flashing” and in my favourite, “Interrupting Your Freedom.”  But the water gets a little cold near the end of the album and I found myself gasping for air in “We’ll Have a Real Good Time.”

Nevertheless, the promising Lights On have turned me on, and I can’t wait to see them live!

Album: 7.5 / 10

Check out the band’s website and MySpace for tour dates and more info.