Named 'Best Indie Band' at the 2010 Austin Music Awards, the Central Texas-raised young men of The Bright Light Social Hour have built their growing reputation through several EPs and exhilarating widely-acclaimed live shows, including the 2009 Austin City Limits Festival. In culmination of their long, studied development, the band is releasing their debut full-length album, simply titled 'The Bright Light Social Hour.' Recorded in five studios around Austin during summer 2010, the album is founded on sun-drenched optimism, raucous youth, and an innovative brew of American music of varying types - classic rock, contemporary indie, rhythm and blues, dance, and soul. Producer Danny Reisch of Good Danny's utilized the best elements of vintage and modern recording to achieve a sound both forward-looking and evocative of 1970s hi-fi. The first track, 'Shanty,' pairs southern rock with hard disco, featuring the searing slide licks of guitarist Curtis Roush. Following the lean, exuberant stomp of 'Bare Hands Bare Feet' the band settles into the dark psychedelic-funk of 'La Piedra De La Iguana,' led by keyboardist A.J. Vincent's dusky vocal and Farfisa organ work. Throughout the middle of the record, the solemn rhythm and blues of 'Detroit' is juxtaposed with 'Back And Forth,' a four-on-the-floor disco-funk romp. On 'Garden Of The Gods,' the album's penultimate 10-minute epic, the band evolves from stately ballroom Americana to an expansive, ensemble anthem, conjuring up their limber and unrelenting live sets. The fiery 'Rhubarb Jam' closes out the record, featuring the agile, booming funk of bassist Jack O'Brien and drummer Joseph Mirasole.
'First album unites funk, rock n roll' Austin's indie rock, powerfunk and soul band and 2010 Austin City Limits Festival s Sound and the Jury winners The Bright Light Social Hour beat into their debut self-titled album. The album starts off with a sort of amuse-bouche in Shanty, which tells you everything you need to know. Their album is like experiencing a burlesque show on the border between funk and rock n roll. The entire album skirts between their bridges tease and the chorus full reveal. The sound is comparable to a wild Spanglish hippie playing a mash-up of The White Stripes beats and Explosions in the Sky s guitar riffs, however it s all unique to them. By the time you reach the fourth track, a love song dedicated to Detroit during its darkest hours of the past recession, it won t matter who they sound like because you re too busy singing along. Songs like Men of the Sea and Men of the Earth take a sharp turn toward the down-tempo just to provide a break. However, the drop from the sheer exhilaration of high-energy songs like Back and Forth feels severe while remaining groovy. The album picks up by the end with the solid and sweet Rhubarb Jam and some of the fastest bass playing you ve heard since hearing that guitar prodigy that exists at every high school and makes everyone jealous. Grade: A For fans of: Cross-Dressing, Massive Mustaches and The Jimi Hendrix Experience --Gerard Rich, Daily Texan