ALBUM: Living Dead Lights – Black Letters

Release Date: January 27th, 2014
Label: GB Sound
Website: None available


Living Dead Lights are a Hollywood based metal/punk band, whose sound is slightly sprinkled with metalcore conventions and structure. Their debut full-length album, ‘Black Letters’, has the ability to perk your ears up, but ultimately delivers an experience that never manages to hit above average.

Overall, ‘Black Letters’ just doesn’t have anything that stands out or surprises. It has standard frantic rock and punk verses with choruses that are hooky, but not enough to reel your brain in for a catch. They clearly know how to write a chorus, but definitely not how to perfect one. The lyrics here are probably something to best look over too. For example, the Halloween-y ‘I’ll Be Your Frankenstein’ feels cliche, emulating something that so many bands have attempted to do before them, such as The Misfits to My Chemical Romance, and it’s just not entertaining when bands go “ooh, look how spooky we are” now.

Another reason why the album is less gripping is because the production is quite clean for the punky edge they try to deliver to their songs. Something more gritty and less polished might of given it the kick it needs to truly captivate. Even accoustic western-y jam ‘Ghosts And Saints’ struggles to enthrall, despite it’s drastic change of both pace and sound.

There are tracks on this album that feel more honed in on their good points than others, as to be expected from a debut. ‘Everybody’ has a huge chorus and punch despite its familiarity to other American rock bands, and it’s well done and has the capacity to be a huge cheesy radio rock anthem. Yet, that appears to be the overall problem with ‘Black Letters’; whilst it can grab attention and stand out more than some rock debuts on the circuit right now, it doesn’t really feel like anything we haven’t heard.

Written by Jack King