Midnite On Pearl Beach - Lamplighter (Review)
Review by Jack Foley
SINGER, songwriter and guitarist Justin Jahnke started Midnite On Pearl Beach in 2012 so he could continue his exploration of American music, shadowy rock and roll and rose-colored rhythm and blues.
His new album, Lamplighter extends that remit into elements of ’70s tinged prog-rock. It’s an album that takes a while to warm up but delivers some genuinely great moments.
Evidence of Jahnke’s prog-rock tendencies are all over opening track Deep In Your Bones, which sounds like a classic slice of Pink Floyd, complete with Dave Gilmour-style guitars. Yet it also has a trippy, laidback feel to its beats and licks that could just as easily entice trip-hop followers of acts like Morcheeba, which isn’t a bad trick to have pulled off.
There’s an equally Pink Floyd-like vibe to Freedom (Is A State of Mind), which is perhaps a little too repetitive lyrically. But it’s a quietly addictive shadowy rock track that really does reside in the ’70s, with a little pharmaceutical help in the process.
It’s a measure of Jahnke’s keenness to diversify and experiment within his genre, however, that he doesn’t keep the whole album in that territory. A Cold Sun has a warmer, more accessible and more immediately melodic vibe to it that genuinely appeals.
While One Foot Left is an instant highlight – a feel-good rocker that drops an insistent tick-tock style guitar riff, a kick-ass back-beat and a crowd-pleasing vibe. It’s one to call radio friendly.
There’s a gutsy, semi-glam rock vibe attached to the robust Common And Lime, which really blows away the early trippiness… even if that state of mind returns for Name of The Game, which is just so laidback and calming.
Wilderness, meanwhile, rounds things off with a slice of appealing folk-rock that offers up a really good listen – romantic, reflective and anthemic.
Hence, while not always on the money by virtue of its willingness to diversity Lamplighter has enough in its armoury to genuinely impress, while dripping in classic values.
Download picks: A Cold Sun, One Foot Left, Wilderness, Freedom (Is A State of Mind)