Distant Lights, Simulacrum

Distant Lights, Simulacrum

There are times when music can just be a side note, something you turn on because you’d rather deal with any type of distraction than the loneliness of oppressive silence and wonder why your life still sucks, even though that could just be me self-projecting. There are also times with music sweeps you up into the experience, and rather than just act as a side note, it becomes your awareness, your environment, your feelings and thoughts. That’s what I found when I listened to Simulacrum, from Distant Lights.

These guys are from Austin and have an impressive list of accomplishments under their belt, including winning The Austin Chronicle’s Sound Wars, which sort of equates them to Austin’s band of the year. They’re also playing friggin’ Six Flags Over Texas, of all places, and opening up for Marcy Playground. With the additional of cellist Jon Dexter, Distant Lights infuses its mid-tempo alt-rock with lush strings and key arrangements that sweep you up in majestic choruses and melancholy verses.

I hate doing the whole comparison thing, but sometimes it’s the only way to give someone who’s not familiar with a band a foundation of their sound, so I’d say these guys evoke Evanescence, if Evanescence was fronted by Staind, with a good dose of Tool tossed in for good measure. Of course, at the same time they have their own thing going and aren’t afraid to explore a more progressive route, with frenetic guitar passages that segue into wistful piano ballads. This is a band with killer musicianship and an outrageous singer, Gabriel Fry, who has clear midtones as opposed to the octaves-high registers of, say, Anthony Green from Circa Survive or Mars Volta, which seems so popular amongst the kids nowadays.

Be sure to check out “The Glitch” and “Artifice,” as well as their ballad “Metamorphosis”; heck, listen to every other song on the album, too. It won’t keep your life from sucking, but it’ll at least give you a gentle respite from the suckiness of it all for about 46 minutes.

(self-released; Distant Lights -- http://distantlightsmusic.com)

Review by . Review posted Tuesday, August 31st, 2010. Filed under Features, Reviews.

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