Bostonians, The Lights Out, dropped their new album, T.R.I.P., this week where each song has a foot in a different version of this life. T.R.I.P is certainly not an album that you can simply listen to and be done with it. It’s like those movies that you watch a few times to make sure you’re understanding it correctly. The album has every kind of genre, including some heavy 80s rock influences but easily switches into a Sublime like soulfulness without notice.
I’ll be completely honest, upon first listen my head was spinning. Going through T.R.I.P. all the way through feels like being teleported from dimension to dimension. It’s a bit of a head rush. The second time, though, I was ready for it and found some kind of footing in the world that The Lights Out had created. The opening songs, “T.R.I.P” and “The Last American Virgin”, set a hard rhythm with a barrage of guitars and throaty vocals but “Waves of Sound” was certainly a song that caught me off guard. It threw the tempo off enough that you thought you were listening to a completely different record but in fact I think it was The Lights Out way of sending us into a different dimension. It has an almost lazy, psychedelic feel the way the guitars thrum through your speakers and how the vocals float around you.This feels like a dimension where you’re cruising down the coast on a warm, breezy day with the top down.
We pick the tempo back up with “Layin Down The Law”, a song that sounds like the anthem of a cop in “urban camo colors” on a bit of a power trip. We go from him having a teenager turn out his pockets to him serving the “thankless shoppers”. It certainly paints a narrative of someone who has a lot hidden from the public, someone that is looking for gratitude. Other than its alternate universe timeline, “Layin Down The Law” has a one of the catchiest choruses on the album as well as an incredible guitar solo. If you’re looking for a song to make you feel like a bad ass, this is the one!
The contrast between “Layin Down The Law” and the following song, “I Dreamed of You Again”, gives you the feeling of jumping into another world. This is definitely one of the songs I listened to multiple times and I’m still not sure of the exact storyline on this avenue of time. During most verses, it seems like an ode to a deceased love, either literally or figuratively, that you can’t get out of your head and eventually, you stop fighting their appearances in your subconscious. The thought of a ghostly ex-lover came to mind with the opening line “in the cold light of day you cast no shadow on my wall. No reflection in the water. All your memories dissolve.” The thought came back to me during the haunting and heavy second verse, especially when there was talk of a “voice coming from behind me.” This dimension would certainly be one filled with silhouettes, the wind rustling through leaves, and hearing things but not seeing them.
“Lies” and “Cosmic Garden” are two of my person favorites on the album. The first has that bopping, almost snappy rhythm whereas “Cosmic Garden” has you floating among the stars, another psychedelic nod. Every song on T.R.I.P is a contrast to the one before it. These two, with “The Undertaker” between them, really portals you from real life, to hell, to the heavens and back.
T.R.I.P. is a jarring album that hits you right between the eyes but it’s a high you’ve got to learn to ride. Each track is an individual adventure but somehow it all fits together to create this incredible journey through every kind of life. This isn’t an album you listen to and zone out, it’s something complex to unpack and dissect with every listen. Looking ahead, T.R.I.P. made me think of was how it’s going to be performed live; the Color Machine being paired with each song is going to be its own show aside from the music. The Lights Out have truly created an artful album that transcends the confines of genre and simply give you quality, interesting music.
T.R.I.P. is now available on BandCamp!