Tony Molina - Kill The Lights - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Tony Molina - Kill The Lights

by Nathan Fidler Rating:8 Release Date:2018-07-27
Tony Molina - Kill The Lights
Tony Molina - Kill The Lights

If you ever wanted to hear the chalk and cheese version in a musician’s catalogue, compare Tony Molina’s first album, Dissed and Dismissed, with his second, Confront The Truth. The West Coast native goes from riffy, power-pop to 60s rock-pop, and his third album, Kill The Lights, sees him carry on in the latter format.

Grief comes to us in many forms, but there is surely nothing as cruel as how short these tracks turn out to be. So short are they, that you’re sometimes left feeling like you’ve only sampled what the album will be like - you’re lucky if a track ever reaches two minutes.

‘Nothing I Can Say’ has the jangle pop and the melancholy melody, with Molina finding it “hard to tell you now”. There might be a light frivolity in the picking and strumming, but, as with most of the songs on the album, there is an unhappiness to his lyrics. The sense of this is even heavier on ‘Now That She’s Gone’, but it’s smartly light on details and facilitates the accessibility of the such a short song.

It’s not that this facet, or even the shortness of the songs, is anything different, since even when crunching his way through his Weezer-esque debut, the songs were tinged with sadness. A bigger backing band sound is deployed on this album, which takes it that extra length further than Confront The Truth; there is piano, organ, an array of guitars and often percussion to drive tracks like ‘Give He Take You’.

At his best on the gentle acoustic songs however, his soulful pouring of “when she leaves me, where am I to go?” on ‘When She Leaves’ is accompanied by a twin-string plucked melody on the guitar. Indulgent, yes, but if you’re in that kind of mood you’ll know you’ve found a kindred spirit.

‘Look Inside Your Mind/Losin’ Touch’ begins in way which is reminiscent of Elliott Smith, but with a very different voice; something more akin to the decade to which Molina is wearing on his sleeve. The second half of the track opens up into a velvety electric solo, showing that he more than has the chops - the attention to the detail of the melody and it’s suitability to the track overall is sublime.

On ‘Before You Go’ he asks “Can I stay with you?”, and you’d have to have a heart of stone to say no, but running at about 20 minutes in total, it doesn’t seem like he really does want to stay. There’s a sense that we’re missing out on more, and that while these are perfectly crafted little gems, couldn’t we please have more of it?

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