Kicking the jammy dodgers

LightGuides – Sambasambasamba

With a well known progression of happy chords, Lightguides introduce themselves on their album, Sambasambasamba. For a few moments, it’s a trip down memory lane back to 2004, with slightly saturated, thoroughly dashing sounds of happy pop punk.

It’s somewhere during the very fast track, ‘Warhorse’, where you see that there’s a bit more than meets the ear/eye: little moments of fast picking, not too alien to the tricks of math rock/post rock. It’s this kind of moments that make it something to pay a bit more attention too.

Not to imply that there’s a lot rule breaking, as these Glaswegian compadres are very happy to maintain a cohesive sound throughout the album. Sure, they do go back to those math rock moments, but they are more of an ancillary resource. ‘The Arts Factory’, ‘Starboard Superhero’ and ‘Old bucket seat’ do feel like a proper pop punk songs, always going for a peppy mood.

But then Lightguides goes into a more sparse sound on ‘Colonel Crookshanks’ (my personal highlight of the album). For a few moments, it feels like a very breezy post hardcore song, with a punchy finale.

On the punchier side of the spectrum is ‘Bachelor Death Party’. It does start real strong but then it feels like it’s telling you: ‘it’s alright, lad, just pulling your leg’. Then it goes on again. Like a schoolyard bully, it’s just a continuous play on your emotions, swaying sensations through riffs and half whispered lyrics that iterate before a cool solo.

‘W.H.Y.L.’ closes Sambasambasamba on a more quiet note. It’s a very slow, smouldering number that inevitably does strike. It’s a good closer and a good show of Lightguides’ different approaches to music.

Not fluffy, certainly breezy, a good album by Lightguides. 

Words: Sam.

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