Suit of Lights – Shine on Forever album review

Suit of Lights sounds like the first rock band you ever listened to.

Even if you’re a first time listener, there is a familiarity that reminds you of the first time you discovered rock music; it has that carefree, mellow sound reminiscent of the 90s. You can picture the band, led by Joe Darone, playing in a packed, back alley warehouse to a huge crowd of teenagers and societal misfits.

In contrast to their alternative rock sound, there is a slight modern indie rock tie in tracks like “Goodbye Silk City” and “Slap Me Five,” (from their 2005 release entitled Suit of Lights) where the use of horns and acoustics soften up the resolute, dark theme of the album.

Their second album Bacteria, released in 2009, has less of a mysterious essence and more of a commercial feel to it that is subtly unrecognizable in their previous work. Nevertheless it’s quite an intriguing album because it doesn’t feel like a follow up to their 2005 debut. It feels like something completely different because the tunes are refreshing; it’s like the band experienced an epiphany during the writing process.

Their latest release Shine on Forever gives us the opportunity to hear more of Darone’s hypnotic and soothing vocals, and puts more of the emphasis on the musical arrangements; there’s more going on musically in this album than any of its predecessors. The tracks are modern and take Suit of Lights right out of that 90s rock feel and places them directly into the category of indie pop-rock.

Suit of Lights is one of the most honest bands I have come across, in that they fully encompass the rock music many of us fell in love with as a teenager, while at the same time growing with the mainstream. It’s gritty and electric, and even a little spooky at times.

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