Independent Clauses | n. —unusual words about underappreciated music

Bright as Night Records releases an average lo-fi punk/lo-fi pop comp

February 22, 2010

In part two of my “Oh snap, I haven’t reviewed this?!” find, I have a comp from Bright as Night Records called The Bright Side…/The Night Side… It got sent to me as the same time as Hot Victory‘s Vol. 1, which is why Hot Victory’s “Beach…That’s Too Bad” appears on this comp (side note: that’s not the track’s name on the iTunes page for Vol. 1, but it is the name listed on the press sheet here).

As the title would suggest, the A side is The Bright Side, consisting of pop and upbeat rock tunes. The Night Side (side B) consists of darker punk and hardcore tracks. The whole comp is decidedly lo-fi, which is great for The Bright Side but kinda terrible for the Night Side.

Vanishing Kids contribute the opener, which is really a bridge between the Bright and the Night. “Heathen Heart” is a chaotic, jagged indie-rock nightmare that counts as one of the best tracks here. It’s crazy. Street Pyramids’ “World’s Apart” is another of the Bright Side highlights, as the dreamy, fuzz-heavy track is a great chill-out tune. The female vocals drift in and out, making a great song even better. Enough Static’s buzzing electro-pop “Our Addiction” sounds like German electro-pop fronted by the lead singer of the Arcade Fire. It’s a bit odd, but it’s a good track.

Smithsick‘s woozy “My Last Stand” provides a nice segue as The Night Side kicks off. It’s not as ominous as it wants to be, but it’s a good tune. Right after that is the best track on this side: Tornado Attack‘s “Cowardly Conformist.” The thrashy, snare-heavy punk features growly hardcore vocals and moves at two speeds: fast and faster. The dark, fast, mid-to-lo-fi aggressive punk tune sets the tone for the rest of the songs on the Night Side, although none match up to the quality of Tornado Attack. Omega Weapon’s appropriately-titled “The Dance Song” pulls off dance-punk with a snotty, abrasive attitude. It’s a highlight as well. The rest of the tunes don’t fare as well, suffering from disjointed songwriting to annoying found sounds to just plain weird ideas.

This is a pretty standard comp, with a few excellent tracks, an equal number of throwaways, and the majority in the middle. I would skip the vinyl and just check out Vanishing Kids, Hot Victory, Street Pyramids, and Tornado Attack.

Stephen Carradini and friends write reviews of bands that are trying to make the next step in their careers.

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