Title: Greet The Blinding Light
Release Date: 2009
Review By: Scott L
- Common Code
- Strong Man
- For Too Long
- Do You Love Me?
- I As A Person
- Blinding Light
- Upside Down
- In Fear And Reverence
- Comes And Goes
Talk about a blind-side haymaker. Where the heck did these guys come from. How do bands like this stay hidden from me? And while we’re offering questions… did these guys get the title of their CD from Thrice’s song “The Flame Deluge”? Inquiry minds want to know. Because if memory serves me correctly, I seem to recall that the lyrics to the aforementioned song go something like… “and who will stand to greet the blinding light”. Coincidence? Maybe. Who knows… and really, who cares. This is a great CD no matter what it’s called.
Staggerford is a 4-piece indie rock act hailing from Lincoln, Nebraska. At times they reminded me of mainstream powerhouse OneRepublic… but mostly they stuck to a less pop-ish sound that could easily be included in a playlist with the likes of The Rise Of Science and Moments In Grace. The songs are purposeful and have an easy flow to them. I particularly dug the way the vocal layering really filled out the sound. Instrumentation was great and I for one appreciated the band’s resistance of the urge to overuse the keys. This lends a less piano-pop feel to the album while providing a pleasant interlude here and there.
Lyrically, Staggerford are most definitely journeyman song-writers. They manage to craft songs that are equally poetic and profound. It’s not that what they’re saying is so deep, it’s that the way they say it is so insightful. It’s measured and earnest, like a conversation with a friend over a coffee. Consider the song ”For Too Long” which says, “I wanna help you / to see things my way / but time is an issue / we only have a few short days / you gotta feel the upside / of the down / don’t be fooled by all the lights and sounds / everyone has felt the way you’re feeling right now / for too long / too long / with no safe place to fall / this isn’t easy either said or done / it’s easiest to turn your back and run”. Or the encouraging “Hero” which has the great lines, “don’t be a hero / but never back down / child / keep moving forward at all cost / you won’t kill your demons with one shot”. No big revelation… just a really cool vibe that sinks deep into your soul.
Picking a standout track wasn’t an easy task. I’m not ashamed to say that I really liked this CD and there wasn’t a bad track to be seen. Or heard, as the case may be. I guess I’d have to go with “Strong Man” which probably spoke the most to me personally. I also really dug “I As A Person” which was about as passionate a song as I’ve heard in a while. And I’ve heard a few.
Overall: Staggerford is a band to keep an eye on… and both ears while you’re at it. Which means that “Greet The Blinding Light” is a CD to get your hands on. Quickly. You’re still here? Go order it and come back. Seriously… it’s beautifully crafted, lyrically mesmerizing, and well worth your time. There’s a VOTA connection, but don’t dwell on that too much… it’s apples and oranges. Staggerford is not VOTA. What Staggerford is… is captivating, passionate indie rock at it’s very best and a personal contender for my 2009 album of the year.