Brightlight City are full of energy. Influenced by Reuben, and Hundred Reasons, they add their own brand of math rock to bring a refreshing, invigorating listen. The positive chemistry is evident on their debut album The Harmony and the Chaos.
The album shows that Brightlight City are talented songwriters. Lyrically ‘Feast on Fear’ tackles the negativity of the modern media, and how it has fuelled unrest in the UK and beyond. But musically it is a ray of sunshine. ‘Through the Lens’ is an introspective song about war photography. It is boosted by singer Jamie Giarraputo’s soaring vocals. They help bring passion and emotional intensity that matches the slow instrumentals. On ‘Songs of Dissent’ the band allow the heavy guitars room to breathe, and the crashing drums provide a fun, upbeat atmosphere.
The album sits comfortably in that early 2000s post-hardcore bubble, but there are elements that set it apart. ‘You’ll Get What’s Coming’ contains screamed vocals and an unnerving chant, which offers something new and refreshing. Gang vocals are useful because they could allow crowd participation. Brightlight City utilise them perfectly on this album – especially on ‘Let’s All Be the First to Take the Leap.’ The odd time signatures and the unnerving chant at the end adds something different.
‘Who You Are’ on the other hand, is more straightforward. It is an upbeat pop rock song about anxiety. But there is a positive message in the chorus that is very inspiring: “Don’t let them try to tell you that you’re not alright / Just let your heart define you.”
This lyric shows that this album is all about being yourself and having fun. It is worth listening to in these dark times, and a reminder that happiness is the key to a brighter future.
Words by Ermis Madikopoulos