Review: Lights Out Dancing – Ever the Optimist
Artist: Lights Out Dancing
Album: Ever the Optimist
Release Date: October 16, 2009
After nearly three years under the radar Lights Out Dancing are back with the independent release Ever the Optimist. A great addition to the positive pop punk genre and a step in the right direction as they detract themselves from ‘I-hate-my-ex-girlfriend emo’ music while concentrating on songs to encourage and inspire. With new lead singer Danny, L.O.D. seem to have found their stride as a hard working, respected band once this album thrusts them into the spot light of independent music with some tunes that will excite all pop punk fans.
Has any band really escaped the shadow cast by west coast rockers Blink 182… Why yes, and screw you for asking! There have been countless bands and the entire sound of the genre has been reinvented since their departure from Blink’s bubblegum punk sound. I digress, but it’s the first thing that springs to mind when these cheery guitar chorus chime in and that particular American twang rings; transforming each song into a teenage-romance-gone-wrong anthem. While following the newer pop/punk streams of influence, originality is not Lights Out Dancing’s strong point. After all there is only so much you can do armed with three chord changes and the experiences of a painful mid-western adolescence.
However, let me tell you why this EP is a special force. Arresting, catchy lyrics and easy-listening instrumental harmony that is sublime giving a peculiar feeling – like writing in big letters. It’s nothing physical, a switch gets flicked and a light goes on and the sound is all get up and go! Ever The Optimist has one of the best pop punk hooks I’ve heard in a while “I need to stop and think it’s getting hard to breathe can’t even fall asleep anymore”. Real aggression resounds in the delivery as the song carries on, giving it real character that you could accuse pop/punk of lacking. “Lighting The Sky for You” changes the tempo of the record (acoustic) that gives it an integrity that the pop hits don’t; a song that reminds me of old Dashboard Confessional, expressing a wealth of feeling no matter how cliche these kind of emo songs can be. But that feels like a cop-out: if you don’t write from the soul/heart your no better than the pop princes and princesses that stand there and pretend like they’ve written their own songs.
It has got heart at its core- if you know anything about this band I’m sure you’ll agree. Touring like crazy and working crap jobs just to keep the dream alive, and they certainly have done that with this release. Hold fast onto the dream along with Lights Out Dancing and let Ever The Optimist give you a fine taste of what they can do.