Thursday, December 21, 2006

Bright Light Fever at Safari Sam’s, December 26

Meet the latest contenders in the scruffy but pop-positive rock sweepstakes, NoCal’s Bright Light Fever. Their brief but bombastic tracks go straight to the heart of the matter, piling sticky melodies on top of hard-charging drums, reminiscent of what the little girls have been swooning over lately (Panic at the Barbershop, for one), minus that whole wuss factor. Their debut, The Evening Owl (Stolen Transmission), finds our young charges doing their best not to get lumped in with such pabulum by digging deeper into their bag of musical tricks, exemplified by the Radiohead-y guitars of “Good Day, Good Day” and the gleefully maudlin piano-powered ballad “Crowded Street in May.” (“A Deeper Blue” just rocks.) Singer Evan Ferro can over-emote with the best of them, so watch out. They’re a good Warped Tour away from being bigger than Fall Out Boy.

(Originally published in the LA Weekly, 12/06)