Thursday 21 September 2017

Spotlights - Seismic (Album Review)

Release date: October 06th 2017. Label: Ipecac Recordings. Format: CD/DD/VInyl

Seismic – Tracklisting

1. Seismic
2. Learn to Breathe
3. The Size of the Planet
4. Ghost of a Glowing Forest
5. Under the Earth
6. A Southern Death
7. The Opening
8. What is This? Where Are We?
9. Hollow Bones
10. Hang Us All
11. The Hope of a Storm


Sarah Quintero - Bass/Guitar/Vocals
Mario Quintero - Guitar/Synths/Vocals
Chris Enriquez - Drums


Spotlights play a beautiful style of Sludge, Doom, Post-Rock, Noise and Shoegaze kind of sound. Parts The Melvins, Torche, ISIS (The Band) and Helms Alee but offering their own unique heavy sound. The band return with their sophomore effort - Seismic. A lush and progressive musical odyssey that captures the listener's imagination from the very start with brooding drums and haunting played riffs.

Opening song - Seismic - is a song that captures the balance between light and heavy sounds with Spotlights operating with a distinctive shoegaze authority. The song changes from melodic sludge/post-metal heaviness to a more refined doom-pop/shoegaze environment. The ambient and psychedelic sounds add a very cool and very friendly feel to the whole feel of the album. The dual vocals have a warm embrace around them. As Spotlights maybe distinctively a heavy rock band but they bring you into their sludgy rock world with loving open arms.

Second song - Learn To Breathe - has a classic eighties/nineties shoegaze approach with the band keeping the sludge riffs at bay and replaces them with a heavy alternative rock feel. The band adds their soulful and addictive vocals to the song at different parts of the song. The vocals have quite a stop-start approach that matches the flow and vibrancy of the song.

Third track - The Size Of The Planet - has more of a classic post-rock/post-metal feel that brings back memories of ISIS (The Band) at the top of their creative powers. It's a beautifully played slow piece with Spotlights on mesmerizing form. The shoegaze/doom-pop feel of the song is what holds your attention. Seismic has this magnetic and addictive hold over you as the heavy played sludge riffs leave you wanting more. The dual vocals and superbly written lyrics make the emotional connection between the album and the listener only stronger.

Fourth song - Ghost Of A Flowing Planet - is perhaps my favourite song on the album as it opens with a fantastic psychedelic/sludge hybrid sound with dreamlike vocals to match. The lyrics are simply written but Spotlights deliver them with ultimate grace and style.

Spotlights carry on their experimental doom/sludge rock vibes with more outstanding songs such as Under The Earth, A Southern Death, Hollow Bones and The Hope Of A Storm. Spotlights opt for a more drone based sound on later stages of the album without compromising the almost feel-good and uplifting sludge/post-metal/doom metal riffs they capture superbly well. Seismic is wonderfully produced with the band sounding incredible from the start.

Spotlights should also get credit for their use of different sounds on the album. As they keep the album sounding wholly original throughout. Seismic is an album that works on so many different levels. It never bows down to genre rules or conventions. Seismic is perhaps one of the boldest and most addictive albums you'll hear this year. I rank Seismic as one of the top ten albums of the year.

A simply incredible and exquisite album.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Monica at SpeakEasy PR for the promo. Seismic will be available to buy via Ipecac Recordings on CD/DD/Vinyl from October 06th 2017.


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