Sunday, December 03, 2006
Blackpool Lights--This Town's Disaster (2006)
Album-This Town's Disaster
Release Date-Jun 20, 2006
Biography-When the pioneering emo band the Get Up Kids called it quits in 2005, guitarist Jim Suptic pressed on with his next project, Blackpool Lights. The indie rock foursome started in 2004 with Suptic (vocals/guitar), Brian Everard (bass), Billy Brimblecom (drums), and J.D. Warnock (guitar/vocals). Like Suptic, each member had previously played with other alternative rock bands, most notably Brimblecom, who released one album on Arista with Stick in 1993. He also played stints with the Creature Comforts and the Los Angeles dance-punk act theSTART in the early 2000s. After self-releasing an EP, Blackpool Lights started Curb Appeal Records to put out their first full length. In the midst of recording their first album in early 2005, Brimblecom was tragically struck with a cancerous disease called Ewing's sarcoma. This rare kind of cancer caused Brimblecom's left leg to be amputated from the knee down; however, he beat the disease and continued to play with a prosthetic leg. Warnock left the group in November 2005 and Thom Hoskins (guitar/vocals), formerly of the Belles and the Buffalo Saints, was named as his replacement in the new year. This Town's Disaster marked their proper debut in June 2006.
Review-"This is just sincere, unpretentious rock music," says bandleader Jim Suptic (formerly of the Get Up Kids) of his new band's debut album. "We don't have a gimmick." A cynic might point out that in a music marketplace where gimmicks flourish like fungus in a damp basement, claiming not to have a gimmick can be as much a gimmick as getting matching haircuts. But cynics will find themselves confounded by This Town's Disaster, an album overflowing with unpretentious meat-and-potatoes guitars, sincere average-guy vocals, and crunchy, completely ungimmicky production. None of that is enough to make an album worth hearing, of course; the rock & roll graveyard is littered with sincere, unpretentious, uninteresting rock bands. This is the kind of music that lives and dies on hooks, on its ability to make the listener giddy with sheer, melodic pop pleasure, and luckily, Blackpool Lights deliver that in spades: the title track comes on like a less wimpy version of the Goo Goo Dolls, while "Empty Tank" is a heartland singalong that sounds kind of like what might happen if John Cougar were to start singing lead for a particularly aggressive emo band. Even more Middle American in sound is the acoustic-based "Maybe Just Maybe," but the album's highlight is "Goodnight to Romance," a headlong, heart-on-sleeve slab of power pop brilliance; the kind that might make Will Hoge lose a bit of sleep. Very highly recommended.