Incoming Transmission is a strong and emphatic introduction to City Light Vigil’s newest album, Under A Bright Shining Light. The forceful riffs, supersonic vocals, and unity amongst the constituent elements of the band make for something that will immediately bring listeners to the edges of their seat. Hints of the pop-punk of the early-oughts acts like Sum 41 and Blink 182 can be heard here, but there is a more enlightened an emotive sound that is cultivated during the introductory sections of the disc.
In The Cards is a harder-edged track that allows the drums and guitars ample time to shine while the more laid-back vocals that kick in shortly after spin the track in a different direction. Hints of Unwritten Law and Sponge are here, made new again through the unique screaming style brought in for the chorus.
A magnificent instrumentation starts off Kids In The Corner , a cut that slows things down and ferries considerable vocal depth. The rising action that works its way through the first half of the single explodes into an intricate collection of elements. This electronic/guitar-heavy combination showcases the raw ability of City Light Vigil, dovetailing into Something In The Static. Something In The Static comes and goes before the effort hits the 90 second mark, presenting listeners with a good sense that City Light Vigil has moved into the second half of Under A Bright Shining Light.
Lost In Translation is a track that builds off of the work of acts like MxPx and Mest, all while inserting some heady instrumentation into the mix. The vocals are also highlighted during this effort, making for a track that will stand up to repeat listens before listeners hear everything that the band has included. Rebirth has the band move into a pattern that is indelibly imprinted by the works of acts like Rise Against and Strike Anywhere; lengthy instrumental interludes and a ropy bass line establish this track as a stand-out amongst a disc full of hits.
Signs & Wonders is a rare example of an effort that anyone that has ever had a tricky relationship with a significant other (or even had a bout of unrequited love) can appreciate. This lyric0heavy track has the vocals and the musical side of City Light Vigil kick into high gear, creating a single that is utterly seamless while showcasing a band that’s more than happy to branch out in the last few gasps of an album. Midnight Lights takes bits and bops from the rest of the preceding efforts from Under A Bright Shining Light to increase the cohesiveness of the album. This means that there is a harder rock style that is dominant while the layered vocals are able to make for an effort thatwill resound loudly with listeners long after the album has ceased to play.
Wake Up, We’re Dreaming is the penultimate track and is another shorter composition. While the track comes and goes before City Light Vigil makes it to two minutes, the raw emotion that is weaved through this effort is hard to beat. Few instrumental efforts would be able to tell a story, but the highs and lows presented by this track are as clear as if a vocalist was accompanying every note. There is a greater complexity reached to this track that makes it a mite challenging to hear all of the different dynamics that have been wedged in here. This is still a clear and cohesive track; where lesser acts would make this a muddied affair, City Light Vigil have a goal in mind and accomplish it with flying colors.
Under A Bright Shining Light is the final track on Under A Bright Shining Light, ending the album with some of the most bombastic and intense music that we have ever heard from City Light Vigil. Where many acts are more than happy to end their album with a whimper, this effort hammers home the recording in a fashion that is rare with current acts.
We were fortunate enough to cover City Light Vigil’s previous single, Rebirth, in January of 2015. Further information about the band can be located at their social media profiles, while Under A Bright Shining Light is available on iTunes and other digital service providers.
Top Tracks: Incoming Transmission, Something In The Static