Spotlights - Love & Decay - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Spotlights - Love & Decay

by James Weiskittel Rating:9 Release Date:2019-04-26
Spotlights - Love & Decay
Spotlights - Love & Decay

With a roster that includes everything from Ennio Morricone to the Eagles of Death Metal, Mike Patton’s Ipecac Recordings has long been a bastion for the left-of-center shades of rock and metal. And in recent years, the Brooklyn-based trio Spotlights has been one of the label's most exciting additions. A perfect marriage of aggression and atmosphere, the Spotlights' sound revolves around the musical (and personal) partnership of Mario and Sarah Quintero. Anyone who has followed the band will be happy to hear that their latest release (and third LP overall) Love & Decay just might be Spotlights’ finest hour.

The album-opening, riff-driven dirge “Continue the Capsize” and the crushing “The Particle Noise” are an appropriately heavy-handed one-two punch showcasing what is easily the Spotlights' best production to date. “Far From Falling” shows off the more majestic side of the band while the prog-tinged “Until the Bleeding Stops” highlights the couple’s increasingly effective vocal interplay. “Xerox” is a Sabbath-tinged pop gem and “The Mountains Are Forever” is Spotlights at it’s most mathematical while the nearly eleven-minute album-closer “The Beauty of Forgetting” is an incredibly engaging slice of epic shoegaze.

Where the band’s previous release Seismic (clocking in at nearly an hour) felt a bit drawn out at points, Love & Decay’s eight (or nine, depending on which version you get) carefully constructed tracks seem to just fly by. In fact, the only fault I can find with Love & Decay is the frustrating choice to relegate the woulda/coulda/shoulda-been last track “Sleepwalker” to ‘bonus’ track status. The song is an incredibly strong ripper that just might be the best of the bunch but is only available (as far as I can tell) via a physical release. Oh well...

Nitpicking and industry rants aside, Love & Decay is easily Spotlights’ best release to date. The self-produced affair not only captures the brutal intensity of the band’s previous output but also delivers some of their strongest hooks and best arrangements. Mario and Sarah’s vocals have never sounded better, and Chris Enriquez’s drumming shines throughout. If you are a fan of any of the bands that Spotlights has shared the stage with in recent years - Quicksand, Hum, Pelican, Melvins to name a few - then you need to check out this release.

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