About ten years ago, there was a label called Drive-Thru Records. I’m sure most people still remember them. They put out some fairly important records to the then-burgeoning modern emo scene including (but not limited to) albums by The Starting Line, The Early November, The Movielife, and New Found Glory. But then for whatever reason, they stopped being active and have stayed quiet for the last four or five years. I bring Drive-Thru up because it’s about time that someone contact them and let them know that their next signee has been discovered.
Enter: Lights Camera Distractions. Other than their name, which would have been better suited as an album title if you ask me, these guys aren’t too shabby. They’ve taken that early-to-mid Aughties pop-emo sound and run it through a modern post-emo/pop-punk/melodic hardcore filter, resulting in their debut album, “Selfish You.” There’s the intricate guitar work that resembles Polar Bear Club, but then the next song might contain bouncing power chords that are more reminiscent of Allister. The vocals, which are sometimes-shouted and sometimes-sung, recall the sounds of bands like Starting Line or Transit. So all-in-all, they’ve got a nice and diverse background to take influence from.
The songs are well crafted, and they’re executed in such a manner that the young band sounds like they know exactly what kind of album they had set out to make. Mixing and mastering was handled by Lee Dyess, who has worked with the likes of From First to Last and Evergreen Terrace, so they were in experienced hands. Oh, and pre-production on about half the songs was done with Ace Enders (The Early November, I Can Make a Mess Like Nobody’s Business, Ace Enders and a Million Other People). So that also has to count for something.
The biggest complaint that I have with this album is that feels like it runs on for too long. Particularly the back half seems to drag for awhile. The album is 40 minutes long, which isn’t too bad, but with 10 tracks it means each song averages to about 4 minutes in length. It’s a personal gripe, I know, but I prefer songs in about half that time with maybe one or two running on for longer. It’s purely an aesthetic preference, but every time I listen to this album the second half never gets played as much as the first half because my attention gets diverted elsewhere.
Other than that (and the band’s name), this is an impressive debut. The band could tighten up their songwriting a bit so that they don’t wander into the territory of 4+ minute songs if they want to keep the attention of the pop punk and emo crowds, but this is only their first album- they have time to work on it. Overall though, this album is just the thing to show off to all your friends that wish Drive-Thru Records was still putting out new material. But seriously, someone should probably call up the Reines siblings and tell them to end their “hiatus” now that their next band has been found.
RIYL: The Early November, The Starting Line, Polar Bear ClubAdd Lights Camera Distractions to My Radar