Screaming Lights - GMN/Glow

Simon Jay Catling 24/12/2008

Rating: 4/5

Aside from a sharp increase in sales of glo-sticks and a few handy remixes by Belgian duo 2ManyDJ's, what did the Klaxons and “nu-rave” really have an impact on after the dust had settled on a 2007 that saw another piss-poor Casio keyboard wielding act pop up with every award the Leeds group won?

However; pronounced dead by the NME in the summer, it may not be time to call the undertaker just yet because finally shorn of its scenester tag and ridiculous genre title, the marriage of guitars and dance is starting to prove a somewhat fruitful union. The likes of New Young Pony Club and more noticeably Late Of The Pier have both moulded the crossover style into something that has edge, something that dance heads would actually be able to get into; hell something that's just better. And now Liverpool four piece Screaming Lights have come to join them.

Screaming Lights don't half enjoy putting pressure on themselves; support slots with the likes of Mystery Jets, Vampire Weekend and The Music have come without a single physical release, thus raising anticipation levels for this double a-side to almost fever pitch; anything less than a certifiable success has to be a disappointment. But heck can they deliver. As the Korg intro to 'GMN' starts you're left with a feeling of foreboding; oh look things haven't actually moved on after all, but then, wooomph! The whole thing quickly switches gear and suddenly you're immersed in a powerful, encapsulating dance macabre as pounding percussion, overdriven guitars and James Treadell's Interpol-cum-Joy Division vocals almost rip your ears from their cartilage. This bares the skeleton of nu-rave but the flesh is entirely different; it's denser of dynamic, darker of sound and fully exhilarating.

In contrast 'Glow' is a far more measured proposition, an almost lazy vocal delivery that drawls over a spidery guitar line and a stoical drumbeat that adds a coldness and depth that would perhaps otherwise have gone missing. Less immediate than 'GMN', it still shows the benefits of a band who've not rushed out a release for the sake of it; the months of playing support has allowed Screaming Lights to craft and tighten up their songs and the results are nothing short of thrilling.