Detroit based Half Light Music may be a new name on the scene, but these four men know their way around the stage and studio. The band contains three-fourths of former Epic recording artist Bliss 66, who disbanded in 2003. Lead singer Cheyenne Goff has proven his vocal and lyrical talents in Bliss 66, as well as his most recent project, Paper Street Saints. His newest endeavor is more closely aligned with the sound of Bliss, even including some re-worked demos from those days of yore, such as "E_Girl" and "Yeah."
The CD kicks off on the right note with "Mayday," a song with an undeniably catchy hook and a nice melody. A couple tracks down we come across the aforementioned "E_Girl," and "Make Up Your Mind," which feature memorable and powerful choruses, respectively, and exceptional guitar work by Marty Yount. The real standout on the album is "The Gambler." It catches Goff at his lyrical best, and gives center stage to a forceful, yet wistful conclusion. Just one of many things Bliss 66 excelled at were vocal harmonies, and "The Gambler" exemplifies this. On the other hand, some of the songs like, "Yeah," the lyrics seem held back for a catchier sound overall. In lesser hands this could be disastrous, but the band more than make up for it, and it turns out to be the best ballad on the album. It's the perfect song for Goff to showcase his unique voice and excellent use of falsetto, which is not only prominent in "Yeah," but on "Second Best," and throughout the rest of the album.
Chuck Alkazian (Pop Evil, Sponge) handles the production, and it is top of the line. No instrument is overwhelming, and there's nary an off-note on the album. For good measure, Alkazian contributes musically with tambourine and additional keys.
In conclusion, while you will notice similarities with Bliss 66, Half Light Music are wholly their own band. The music is more energetic and aggressive, though it's not a CD that will absolutely blow you away. Clocking in at just over 30 minutes, the music feels over before you can fully digest it; but the good ones always leave you wanting more, don't they?
2. Second Best
4. Make Up Your Mind
5. The Dream
7. Find In Me
8. The Gambler
9. She Walks
Note: This album is now available for purchase at iTunes.
Before forming Fightstar, singer Charlie Simpson was in a band called Busted, who were a British pop band consisting of James Bourne (rhythm guitar), Charlie Simpson (lead guitar and occasionally drums), and Matt Willis (bass). They sold over 1 million singles and 2 million albums in the UK, winning BRIT Awards, Record Of The Year and performing on several sellout arena tours.