Prepare to add yet another Canadian band to your list of favorites. Kill The Lights have completed their first full-length album, which is being released by Maple Music Recordings in the great white north. This five piece is comprised of frontman Alex Hackett, keboardist Steph Hanna, guitarist Joe Yarmush, drummmer Yann Geoffroy and bassist John Dignard. Together they make layered rock that contains depth while maintaining quite an accessible feel.
Buffalo Of Love explodes with the opening track "Two Sinister Gentlemen." Big guitar chords bookend the monster of a chorus, where Hackett's vocals bounce easily from one octave to another. This is followed by the album's lead single, "Skinny White Girls," sounding like a cross between The Strokes and The Stills. Keyboardist Steph Hanna's backing vocals help add some color, making for a damn great track.
At times I am reminded a bit of U2 when listening to Kill The Lights, such as on "Orestes." Hackett does have a bit of Bono in his voice at times. One of the best tracks on Buffalo Of Love is "Lady Sniper," during which Hanna takes over vocal duties on the chorus. The boy/girl call and response works very well between these two, while the music itself bears a sped up resemblance to Ryan Adams' "So Alive." It is much more polished, but the guitar melody does have a bit of similarity, in a good way.
A band with this much musical firepower should have a least one track to let them flex their muscles a bit, which they do during "Palest Form Of Sabatoge." This seven-minute epic contains huge crescendos of guitars and keys, taking over four minutes to even get to the words. I bet this one kills on stage! The album then slows the tempo down to help calm us done as it concludes with the shoegazey "Ceremony In The Basement." The shimmering guitars are a bit reminiscent of Editors, ending with some fantastic vocal harmonies between Hackett and Hanna.
Kill The Lights have all the right ingredients for a great debut LP. Intelligent songwriting, powerful melodies and that perfect balance between indie and mainstream rock. They have given us an album filled with sonic beauty and anthemic moments that has kept Buffalo Of Love in frequent rotation on my own iPod. Fans of expansive rock songs with definitely enjoy this one.