If Millencolin and Strike Anywhere met at a dingy Swedish dive bar, and after a drunken romp later that night Strike Anywhere ended up pregnant, and nine months later gave the baby up for adoption to Divit, that baby would be named Bedtime for Charlie.
Fortunately for Bedtime for Charlie, they can turn an English phrase better than their biological father, which is a rare and remarkable attribute for a European band singing in English. Also fortunate is that they inherited their father’s remarkable backup harmony abilities, and “Bright Light City Skyline” is chock full of them.
The album starts off with the anthemic “Throwing Life Away”, a gang-vocal driven mid-tempo rocker that segues seamlessly into “Collide”, an uptempo tune with plenty more vocal harmonies and open guitar leads. Someone obviously put a bit of thought into the track order, as each song’s ending is matched well to the next song’s beginning. The effect is to give “Bright Light” a true album feel, rather than a thrown together collection of 12 songs.
“I Never Sold Out Because I Never Got The Chance” goes against the usual punk grain, declaring “who wouldn’t want to be a rockstar?” It’s a “Please Play This Song on the Radio” type tune, complete with the obligatory pop-punk production tricks and backup vocals in just the right places. The difference is that Bedtime sings the lyrics in earnest with none of the tongue-in-cheek humor of the NOFX tune. Despite this (or perhaps because of it), I couldn’t help getting this one stuck in my head.
Bedtime for Charlie aren’t pushing any boundaries here, but this is a very solid offering with good songwriting, production, and performances throughout. Any fan of the Strike Anywhere/Rise Against/Millencolin school of punk will enjoy this one from beginning to end.
Stream the album here.Add Bedtime for Charlie to My Radar