Since forming in 2015, under original band name Sioux Falls, Lightblue have steadily been making a name for themselves in the South West and are poised to release their debut EP offering, Paradise Lost on Friday 8th December. Riding the crest of the UK’s second wave of pop-punk, the hotly-tipped outfit have big shoes to fill.
On first listen I was originally underwhelmed but if anything doing reviews for TPA the last few years is that first impressions are not always correct. The more I listened the more the emotive intricacies came to the fore.
The EP starts with the soon to be released single In The Back Of My Room, as quirky, up-beat rhythms contrast against lyrics of self-doubt and mental health all the while painting a picture of small town life. Throw in an instantly hum-able chorus and you can see why they have received favourable comparisons to bands like Boston Manor and The Front Bottoms.
An urgent drumbeat powers the defiant Far Gone but it sails a little too close to generic pop-punk to really stand out, despite the impressive backing gang vocals. Emotive, but lacking impact.
The final song, Mast, on this short EP was really divisive for me. I found myself not really enjoying it at first but after multiple listens this week it may just edge In The Back Of My Room as my favourite track here. Ditching the pop-punk template for a slower, melancholy, mature sound that is the perfect conduit for singer Callum Middleton’s emotional outpouring that crackles with passion. Building on a gentle foreboding military drum pattern before an upsurge in waves of melodic emo that threaten to wash all over you, it’s a powerful statement of intent that hits you in the feels.
As a taster for future releases this goes some way to justifying the comparisons and hype, leaving me eager to see where they go with a full album. Definitely ones to watch, for sure.