TRACK | The Mystery Lights – What Happens When You Turn The Devil Down

5/5 golden merles

Ambition and rock music are not two things that readily go hand in hand. If they do, it is usually in a gruesome and unnerving manner. If they do it is in a way that gets diverted into purely worshipping form and/or disgusting commercialization.

When it goes wrong in the direction of marketability, you get the generic. When it goes wrong in relation to form, it ends up as math-rock’s hounding idiosyncrasy, which often gets lost in the pattern of its own making, as ornamentation for the sake of overelaboration, and makes a game of the grandiose at the expense of all else.

Surely that can somehow highlight the humanity underneath the approximation of machinery, directing perception toward the margins. But what a lot of faffing about to get to something you can just render directly.

The Mystery Light’s have a different kind of ambition. They’re convinced of their own sensibilities, and when they manifest it is like steel folded over toward a purest form of redundancy. They find a way to pay homage and derive creative works from the primordial soup of classic garage rock somehow without that long simmering bile becoming stale.

There is invention and resourcefulness. There is a craft and creativity to the process so far removed from the infinite covers and karaoke repetitions within the genre. Yet, in an era paranoid of feeling and fueled on derivations, it is easy to see them confused for reenactors. That would be a mistake.