Friday, January 30, 2015

Review: Watts - Flash Of White Light

Boston rock greats, Watts, are one of those bands that I wish I had discovered a lot sooner than I did. They have a magnificent, hard rocking, garage band sound that many try to emulate, but few seem to perfect. The Watts have absolutely mastered the craft. This is a band that I want to listen to over and over and over again, and I regret not having had more time with them. However, I know I can make up for that by playing their latest disc, Flash Of White Light, on a constant loop for the next few weeks.

There really aren’t many weak spots on Flash Of White Light. And what is most ironic about this record is that the weakest material comes in the first two songs. Both the title track and “The Mess Is The Makeup” are decent songs, but really don’t compare with the rest of the album. From song number three (“Sidewinder”) to the end of the album (“Trick”) Watts hit a grand slam. Holy Hannah is this a terrific album!

“Flying Over With Bombs” takes me back to the music I loved in my early twenties. It is just a fun song with great riffs, exceptional hooks, and a rhythmic beat that screams “sing along with me as loud as you can.” This song oozes summer hit, and I really hope that more people have the opportunity to enjoy this song as much as I have.

“Sidewinder” leads the unbelievable charge of nine phenomenal songs in a row. This song is foot stomping, bar room, old school, down and dirty, gritty rock and roll at its best. Singer Dan Kopko growls out the lyrics in delectable fashion. John Blout’s guitar riffs crunch with delight and lend the perfect accompaniment to Kopko’s gravel vocals. The song pulls together as one of the best on the record. I dare you to play this track just once. You’ll be hitting repeat the second it ends.

And yet your desire to hit repeat will be dismayed once you hear the next track, “Wrapped Like Candy.” In a perfect display of placement, “Wrapped Like Candy” slows things down a bit. This mid-tempo delight is nothing short of astonishing. The guitar work is quick and clean, the beat is hypnotic and the fun factor is a full volume 10.

And that’s the beauty of Watts. They make fun music. It’s hard to remember the last time a band put out a record that was just fun. They strive to make every song a radio hit and make no apologies for it. And they shouldn’t, because Flash Of White Light contains some of the best music I have heard in a while. Watts are one of those bands that make you fall in love with music all over again. Flash Of White Light reminded me why I enjoy music in the first place. It’s the excitement of something so different and new that it has to be constantly played and everyone needs to know about it.

Flash Of White Light is reminiscent of simpler times. This is a record that takes you back to the great music of yesteryear, yet maintains its own sense of style. It is classic enough for old school rock, but modern enough to blow most of today’s bands off the charts. It’s just four guys making exceptional music. Every member of the band sings as well as they play their instruments and it is easy to see that all of them are having the time of their lives. If their studio music is this good, I can only imagine what their live shows must be like. Hopefully I will get the chance to find out soon.

Ryo’s Rating: 9 (Out of 10)

Track Listing
Flash Of White Light
The Mess Is The Makeup
Wrapped Like Candy
Wasted Angels
Better (For A Girl Like You)
Flying Over With Bombs
Ghosts On The Dancefloor
Northern Boys

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