Lights Out Asia - Hy-Brasil
By: Tim Clarke
When you’re bombarded by music – and what music fan doesn’t feel bombarded by music? – it’s the littlest things that can put you off. In the case of the new album by Lights Out Asia, as soon as the vocals start in track 2, ‘She Played With Time’, the lyrics send alarm bells ringing in my head. Those alarm bells signal the appearance of ‘crap lyrics that aren’t rescued by winning melody’. But I persisted. And what I got was a style of music that sounds exactly like the kind of music you have to persist with in order to reap rewards.
Just look at the track lengths for a start. We’re not talking Swans -threatening track lengths here, just looong songs that surge along like brooding spaceships, casting big shadows over your day. Are they going to kill us or land and take us away to a beautiful future? I don’t know.
Lights Out Asia are pretty much the archetypal n5MD artist, which is to say that they typify all the strengths and weaknesses of Mike Cadoo’s wide roster. The music is well constructed, impeccably produced, vaguely emotive and evocative in a science-fiction kinda way. Synths. Some crunchy guitars. Lots of modulation. Vocals that occasionally sound pleasingly like The Cure’s Robert Smith. But ultimately, in reaching for a planet-eclipsing scale and clout, the music ends up over-reaching itself. I can’t remember a single thing about the record after I listen to it, other than the opening lyric, which bugs me every time.
What is it? “And it’s alright.” Pretty much sums it up.