Lightboxes – ‘Help Keep The Sadness Out’ [Review]
I made a big mistake the first time I listened to this EP. I didn’t play it loud enough.
Cranked up high enough, Help Keep The Sadness Out hits some impressive peaks. The amount of blood, sweat, and tears that’s gone into its making is plainly obvious from the moment We Bathe In Light swells in; Lightboxes are nothing if not ambitious, and equally capable of turning less into more. February 274th is a sprawling post-rock epic that ups the busyness while maintaining catchiness and closing with cool guitar work, while Wendigo (And The Infinite Sadness) benefits from a brilliantly Incubus-esque intro and some fascinating lyrical work. Both tracks are damn awesome.
However, by aiming so high (and frequently achieving their own goals), Lightboxes have made something of a rod for their own backs. Woodlands Part II evokes some of Incubus’s post-Morning View work but suffers from awkward vocals and irritating arpeggiated guitar tones, making it a difficult listen (for the wrong reasons) that stands out a mile in comparison to its two high-achieving contemporaries. It’s a common issue with progressively-minded bands – when you’re really, really good at what you do, even the smallest flaws sound a million times worse than they would if you sucked.
That said, on Help Keep The Sadness Out four out of five tracks mark Lightboxes out as a band to watch. Whatever they do next is sure to be astounding – provided they’re willing to employ some extra-harsh quality control. The last time I wrote about a band in a similar position, they were called twothirtytwo – and just look at them now…
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