Eat Lights Become Lights/Heavy Electrics
July 21, 2012
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Eat Lights Become Lights continue lighting it up with Heavy Electrics, a propulsive and pulsing extension of the earlier forays with their trademark frantic and fidgety energy level upped, expanded and slightly redirected. ELBL’s reimagined krautrock leanings are in full force, consuming that far-reaching continuum in all its forms. Just as the stellar Autopia took the wide range of that term and digested it whole rather than going for being just another reheated surrogate, Heavy Electrics does the same, making Heavy Electrics intertwine with that history rather being simply an addition to it. It’s an aggressive drive, packed full of compression and release in all forms, but there is also an underlying and crucial element of playfulness that flexes into exuberance, made manifest in the hyperdrive sonic playground of opener Bound for Magic Mountain. ‘Bound’ is a fitting word for track and album in that Heavy Electrics is a perfect ‘driving record.’ The energy level pushes it along its rhythmic chrome-plated tracks taking the transportation far beyond repaving the Autobahn. Like Autopia, we have something thoroughly modern in reinterpretation yet all-inclusive of what’s in the rearview mirror; taking history and tradition out of the backseat into the passenger seat, as well as relinquishing the wheel when needed. As relentless as it might sound, ELBL don’t have to push the pedal through the floorboards on every stretch to make their point. Syd Mead Cityscape, a telling reference for ELBL in general, tones the proceedings down but still sparkles and fluctuates as much as the harder charging trips… ‘reality ahead of schedule’ indeed…. Falling somewhere in the alley between Magic Mountain and Syd Mead walks the superb Terminus IV, whose name may be a winking misnomer since there is no hint of finality in the cut. Terminus IV functions as a meeting of what came before and what’s down the road. In some ways, you can see it as a corollary to All Aboard from Autopia, or possibly the place we actually get on board. The lengthiest cut by hair, it’s the arguable centerpiece of the record, layering and ramping up to create its own self-contained vista to cruise through. Next stop, of many, is Sunrise at Marwar Junction, a blissful sunrise-laden rest stop that highlights ELBL’s ability to take their vibrancy down in intensity without draining power from it, latent or up front. And up front is what La Kraut III is all about, with the fountainhead of influences front and center for an upbeat classicist history tour through the kosmische. Runners diverts the tour through a more blissed out neon tunnel of energy that deceptively ramps up in intensity to a rousing close that, like Autopia, promises more around the bend. Heavy on the electrics, the beats, and ringleader Neil Rudd’s driving guitar, Eat Lights Become Lights deliver another platter that doesn’t strive to one-up the previous, but rather build on it and make the future as rich with possibility as it is with history and ELBL’s unshakable place in the continuum of sounds, destinations and detours.