[sic] Magazine

Black Light White Light – Infrared Daylight

Leading in with sitar before the cracking 60s rifferama may not exactly match the lead track’s title ‘The New Line’, but it sets out Black Light White Light ‘s stall pretty well. From the off it’s obvious that originality isn’t this album’s strong suit. So, it really needs to be a pretty sharp version of 60s flashback to work – which luckily it largely is.

‘One Fast Move Or I’m Gone’ wouldn’t sound out of place on a later Oasis album. ‘Either Way’ is country rock that starts out as if it might go Travellin’ Wilberies , luckily the guitar goes George Harrison not Jeff Lynne and just about saves it from being too throwaway, but keeps it pleasingly catchy. More jangly Rickenbacker on ‘Glorious Bastards’ and a truly odd lyric – “We’re the glorious bastards united in fucking it up.” ?

‘The Militia’ is dragged from the rock swamp, Southern Comfort played out in an acid haze, this is continued with the ‘Run Through The Jungle’, interlude of ‘Returning Home’ that follows. ‘The Dreamer’ is the soppy ballad the title suggests and a weak link, not really much improved on by the mid-pace ‘Faster Forward Rewind’ that follows. ‘Give Me A Sign’ completes the trilogy of under-whelming tracks that dog the second half of the album.

Things improve with the mellotron-like background (think ‘Strawberry Fields’) of ‘America’ – a trip through the mind more than the continent – a lysergic euphoria that bleeds out in feedback. The hoped for, explosive finale doesn’t quite arrive, ‘Sinners’ does provide a reasonable summation of the album that has passed, but doesn’t improve on anything from the album’s superior first half.

The album has the feel of Paisley Underground recordings without enough of the rough edges of The Dream Syndicate or the sublime passion of The Church . It is most like The Soundtrack Of Our Lives , possibly too much like them – it shares their occasionally surprising way with an English lyric and love of all things rockin’, but perhaps keeps it too 60s without their more 70s centric stylings.

When it’s good it’s excellent, but it’s too unoriginal and lacks the killer punch. You can certainly download a killer mini album from the first half.