Friday, 19 August 2016

Album Review: Death To False Posi by Four Lights


Four Lights are a four piece power pop punk band from Seattle, Washington. This week they released their debut album on Bomb Pop Records, named Death To False Posi. When I first listened to a couple of tracks I was instantly reminded of power pop legends Nerf Herder so I was quite excited to sit down and give Death To False Posi a proper review.


Death To False Posi begins with a track named Self Medicated. Self Medicated immediately falls into the punkier side of Four Lights' sound. The guitars go along at a fast pace with lead singer Dan Gardner's vocals doubling up with melodic duties. The track is about being on medication and not really knowing who you are anymore. I really like the chorus of "I Don't Know Who I Am Today, But I Hope It's Not The Same As Yesterday, I Don't Know Who I'm Supposed To Be, Cuz Who I Am Ain't Working For Me." Underground comes next and is another song where the vocals do a great job of carrying the melody. It also features some excellent harmonies throughout. The song starts with just a little guitar and vocals which really grabbed my attention. KII Kay's drumming is superb throughout the song, providing a great back bone for the song. The third track is also the title track - Death To False Posi. Featuring some backing vocals from the mighty Bracket, it's a song about not having false expectations on life. It's kind of a different topic for a punk song to be about. Often you hear songs about living out your dreams no matter what people think so Death To False Posi is a nice change of pace. Up next is the song Did I Hear A Gagoosh? I have no idea what a gagoosh is so I asked my knowledgeable pal Google. There are a couple of different meanings but I think the one Four Lights are using is the one where gagoosh is a name for a vagina fart. (Never expected to have to type those words on a punk blog). Quite an odd and difficult subject for a song. The song itself is a nice mid-tempo paced song which feels quite restrained. Even the chorus has a subdued feel to it with a softer vocal singing "Where, Where Do We Go?"

The fifth song on Death To False Posi is titled Is That You? It's about missing somebody so much you imagine that you see them everywhere. It's a bit of an easy listening kind of pop punk song, feeling fairly laid back throughout with some soft, thoughtful vocals. It's not until the end of the song that things get a bit crunchier. Following a section of "Whoa-oh"s things get louder and the song finishes with a flourish. The opening guitars of It Came To Me In A Dream are quick and punchy before the vocals come in to make the song a real toe tapping head nodder of a track. I loved how the melody changes between verse and chorus - keeping the song sounding fresh. There is also a lovely use of harmonies and some great "Ba Ba Ba Ba Da Ba Ba"s that will get a crowd gleefully singing along. White Girl Wasted is the song title that stood out most to me when I first checked out the record. Starting out slowly before coming alive, this is the longest track on Death to False Posi and probably my favourite. It's about liking what you've got but realising that there is more to life. It's about getting out of your home town and exploring the world. Finding your own way. It's a really positive feeling track, kind of life affirming. Great stuff. Not Very Strong is a song about worrying that a relationship is ending and not feeling strong enough to deal with that. Featuring additional vocals from Jill Morris of The Young Go-Hards, it is an honest and emotional song with some more excellent harmonies. I go on a lot about harmonies, but I really do enjoy a good one. Not Very Strong has a superb three part harmony that is slightly moving. I also enjoyed the big ending of the song, after the restrained power pop sound that dominates the song there is a big, loud guitar finale.

Sixes is the ninth song on the album. The guitar work at the beginning of Sixes makes you realise that this is going to be another downbeat affair. That's not to say the tempo is slow, it actually feel like one of the faster songs on Death To False Posi. The overall tone of the track is dark, with the song being about struggling to find a way to finish a relationship because you don't like the way a person has changed. The tenth track, Whiskey Woahs, starts with the lyrics "You Say You Want Me But That Sounds Like The Whiskey Talking, You Say You Love Me But You Don't Know My Name" opening the song up before the full band really comes into play. It's about a bad relationship with someone who you keep seeing at a bar. This is another of my favourite songs on Death To False Posi, it grabs you immediately, has some great guitar work and plenty of moments for me to sing along. The penultimate song on the album is Spinning. It features a lovely lyric that goes "My Wheels Keep On Spinning, When I Think Of You I Can't Keep Myself From Grinning." The song is about finding someone who actually makes you happy when everything else gets you down. The final song - Sappy Love Song is also about this. This time the lyrics that really stand out are "To See You Smile At Me, There's Nothing More I Need To See." Both of these final two tracks feel like a lovely and uplifting way to finish to Death To False Posi. They make you see that not everything is so bad. Like Death To False Posi, which is a great album from Four Lights.

Stream and download Death To False Posi here: https://fourlightsrock.bandcamp.com/album/death-to-false-posi

Like Four Lights here: https://www.facebook.com/fourlightsrock/