Lacey's Debut 'Under The Brightest Lights' Is An Absolute Knockout
Lacey are a 4-piece band from Nottingham that I saw 2-3 years ago play the tiny stage that no one cared about at Hit The Deck Festival. Although they’re a little outside my comfort zone, I remember thinking it might be worth keeping them on my radar, yet it’s only now that they’ve given me something real to actually look at in the form of 'Under The Brightest Lights'.
Opening song "Tonight" is simply a downright solid pop-rock track that perfectly introduces the album, leaving you longing for more. If that wasn’t enough to encourage people to listen to the rest of the album, "My Eyes Are Open" follows as a very “Blaine-Friendly” track; probably because it’s essentially a pop-punk anthem – it’s loud and fast and has a big chorus which could very easily be about a woman (whether that was the intention is up for discussion). The track’s strong breakdown also showcases the band’s clear ability to do well should they decide to follow a more punk-oriented path (plus they have a singer that’s actually good!), which is never a bad option to have.
It doesn’t take long to notice the common trends and important points of the album. Firstly, as much as I hate comparing bands to other bands, Lacey are starting to feel quite like a modern You Me At Six – a recurring feeling when listening to the album - and with how well YMAS are doing in the UK these days, that is definitely not a bad thing.
The other noteworthy point is that Lacey clearly features a very good singer in Graham Turner. These days, so many bands get by with average-at-best ‘singers’ and rely on their instruments to make new fans, so hearing some really solid vocals in these songs is both pleasant and refreshing, and it’s this fact that gives Lacey so much potential. Just a few tracks into the album it’s very clear that much of the band’s work and appeal revolves around Turner. This is where we consider whether or not they’ll be able to pull it off live, but considering Jaret Reddick (Bowling For Soup) seems to be a big fan of the band, I’d guess they’re doing just fine on that front.
Lacey released an EP, 'Outlaws', a while back, but it felt like it was lacking something. 'Under The Brightest Lights' has allowed this quartet to build on their strong points and showcase these in a way that a 4-track EP simply does not allow. Although fearing becoming like a broken record, we have to keep coming back to the singing. "All Too Far" is yet another strong, fast, upbeat track that would feel completely uninspired without the vocal prowess present in the album.
"Reach Out" will probably be the highlight track for a lot of people – it’s just so infectious and happy, featuring one of the most enjoyable choruses of the album. There’s also a part just after the second chorus that will probably be incredible in a live setting, when there’s dozens of excited fans singing it.
Two other tracks need special mention, and they’re located at the end of the album. "Wait Till Tomorrow" is the compulsory acoustic track of the album and another time to express my strong positive reception to the vocal work on the album. Building on that is album closer, "Older", which is the kind of track which is usually far from “Blaine-Friendly”, but there’s something that’s simply magnetic about it. Stripped back to the bare minimum, it’s the softer track that’s gonna break up their set when performed live. There’s something awesome and inspiring about the lyrics “we’re still young we’re just older now” – it’s truly the perfect way to close the album.
Probably the easiest album review I’ve ever written, I’m genuinely surprised at how impressed I am by Lacey’s debut record – they’ve come far in a short time. On top of the fact that the album is a really good listen, there’s also the intrigue factor – it leaves you wanting more, if only to see what direction they choose to follow in the future. Well done lads, 10/10 for this debut.
To find out more about Lacey click here.
To visit the Lacey Facebook page click here.
Words by Blaine Marshall