The first time I ever heard White Lighter was on Mark Salomon’s Neverwas podcast, where he used bits of White Lighter songs as bumper music. Mark Salomon, in case you’re somehow too young to know, was the vocalist for both hardcore punk / crossover outfit The Crucified and alternative rock darlings Stavesacre, depending on which era you remember better. Seems that, since disbanding Stavesacre, he’s still been involved with music; White Lighter being kind of a different setup with another project, Neon Horse. The later of which I’ve yet to actually check out; I just remember hearing the White Lighter cuts on the podcast, and being intrigued enough to find out who it was and purchase the download of the album off of Amazon.
The music on White Lighter is rock. “What kind of rock?” you may be asking yourself. Well, to be fair, after listening to this a few times, I have to say that it wouldn’t be fair just to lump this into the catch-all that is “alternative”, or even “indie”. There’s a bit of retro style here and there, and even a garage band vibe. Mark’s vocals are very distinct from his previous bands here, which may disappoint anyone hoping for the second coming of Stavesacre. But this is something unique. It’s heavy, yet manages to maintain a darkly melodic sensibility while never becoming stale. The album actually eases into things with the darkly acoustic opening “Swan”, then turns up the intensity as needed throughout the album.
There’s some really great and infectious hooks and rhythms, with the entire album being a solid listen straight through. The production is fantastic, and sounds great with the high-end studio headphones I have. This is one I’d like to try and hear on vinyl, as it seems to be available in that format on the Northern Records site. In any case, I strongly recommend picking this release up.