Streetlamps for Spotlights have always towed the line between catchy pop hooks and jagged early 90s indie/alternative rock. They pull from that generation of indie rock that was influenced by post-punk of the late 70s and made their own version of it where KISS and Led Zeppelin records coalesced with Wire and The Feelies albums. Millenium Summer is the culmination of years of writing and recording, honing in on that essential Streetlamps for Spotlights sound.
Vocals, Guitar / Jason Davis
Bass / Jay Hackbush
Drums / Andy Sheets
Millennium Summer EP - SfS have always towed the line between catchy pop hooks and jagged early 90s indie/alternative rock. They pull from that generation of indie rock that was influenced by post-punk of the late 70s and made their own version of it where KISS and Led Zeppelin records coalesced with Wire and The Feelies albums. Millenium Summer is the culmination of years of writing and recording, honing in on that essential Streetlamps for Spotlights sound. As the final recording with longtime drummer Ryan Holquist, Summer also holds a bit of a bittersweet note. The band has never sounded better. It’s a fitting goodbye to Holquist.
Opening track “Long Distance” barrels out of the speakers. Jangly guitar works its way into your ear as the rhythm section builds a solid foundation for Davis to deliver a Tom Verlaine-like vocal delivery. There are lots of Television vibes going on here, and that’s a very good thing. “On and On” is an absolute blast. This is one of those tracks that really goes to define the Streetlamps “sound”. This is the proto-Streetlamps musical trip; big guitars, driving drums, busy bass, and Davis’ sleepy vocals that seem to have been woken up by an alternative rock freight train. Then halfway thru the song, vocals are delivered thru a Leslie speaker and things get a little ethereal. That’s the beauty of a Jason Davis production. Nothing is typical or average. SfS always deliver in a unique, tasteful way.
Title track “Millenium Summer” has a more subdued vibe that turns into something melancholy and dreamy halfway thru with an instrumental outro that could be OK Computer-era Radiohead or even Teenage Fanclub in a moment of reflection. “I’ll Bet” continues the space-y, reflective vibe to stunning effect. “Anything At All” is a beautiful, atmospheric track led by acoustic guitar, Davis’ voice, and some tasteful noise thrown in for good measure. This track leans more towards the pop leanings of Davis’ excellent solo LP Flatline Movements from a few years back. Of course Streetlamps For Spotlights aren’t going to end this EP on a reflective note. “Illustrious Vultures” is a shot of angular riffs and attitude. The band brings that Fender jangle full force to close out what may be one of the best local releases of the year.
The band keeps things relatively sparse instrument-wise. SfS comes across as a three-piece rock and roll band playing live in the studio. It’s a raw, in-your-face display of sonics, but with some tasteful reverb and echo thrown in to add a bit of atmosphere for good measure. I mean, if you’ve got a studio full of pianos, organs, echo chambers, glockenspiels, and I’m sure a plethora of other fun gadgets the urge is to throw it all on. Fortunately, Jason Davis is sort of a pro at this kind of thing. He knows subtlety goes a long way to make for one hell of a listen.
Millenium Summer is the EP you’ve been waiting for. It’s Streetlamps For Spotlights at their absolute best. No holds barred rock and roll with a heaping touch of class. - Complex Distractions
Sound and Color - The first thing you notice as you listen to Streetlamps for Spotlights full-length debut Sound and Color is how much these guys love texture. Sometimes it’s subtle, but these textural layers are always present in the songs. Whether it’s in Jason Davis’ guitar work with jagged punches of riffs and noise, or in Jay Hackbush’s solid bass lines keeping things afloat, or Ryan Holquist’s pounding drums going from solid rhythms to full on post-punk explosions -sometimes in the same song- the textures are there. As well as being the 6-string guru of SfS Davis sings over these aural explosions, sometimes like a man on a mission and sometimes like a man looking hopelessly for answers, always though, with a purpose. Sound and Color is part post-punk manifesto and part grizzled, razor wire pop record. Several singles over the last few years have built up to this statement of musical authority. - jhubner73.com
After releasing several 7" singles, Fort Wayne, IN based indie rockers, Streetlamps for Spotlights, have released their debut full length, Sound and Color. The twelve tracks are a grungy and noisy romp through guitar driven rock. The band's classic three piece lineup lends itself perfectly to their sound, giving the album a nice live feel, while not sacrificing studio production quality. -floorshimezipperboots