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Album Review: Pilotlight - The Post War Musical

If Pilotlight were a new-born child, they would have a Death Cab For Cutie father and minimalism as progenitor, such is the definition of their style. An easier description would be to stick them in the indie-pop genre, but their particular taste for soft tracks and understated arrangements set them slightly apart from their contemporaries. The band release their tastefully named 'The Post War Musical' album this November.

Opener ‘All Purpose Underneath’ is a perfect sampler of what this band can do, as they make the most of toughing vocal work and the lightest of guitar touches. Accordingly, the addition of bass and light cymbals creates a floating chorus making for a reserved track that never allows itself to give too much away. Single ‘Afraid Of Heights’ sounds like a band affirming their style by ticking all their signature elements to create a soft indie-pop quality that wouldn’t sound off on a teenage soap of your choice.

‘Pulling On Doors That Say Push’ and ‘Health & Safety’ showcase Pilotlight’s rockier edge with, one the one hand a spastic guitar-laden atmospheric piece, and on the other a powerful crescendo of a track reminiscent of some of Biffy Clyro’s earlier ideas. Both these tracks are complimented by thoughtful arrangements that make for well-rounded listens.

While ‘Music To Cross The Road’ and ‘Letting Balloons Go’ are forgettable efforts, tracks like ‘Bite Your Nails’ and ‘South’ stand out by offering understated instrumental work and reach emotional heights without going through generic techniques, becoming all the more brilliant for it.

All in all, ‘The Post War Musical’ is an uneven record offering some more than decent soft alt-rock tracks and a few dashes of great music. But the listener may come out of his first run-through with a feeling of not having been fully satisfied, a feeling I share simply because some of the tracks don’t seem to fulfill their opening intentions, and minimalism can’t always be allowed as an excuse. Other than that, this is not a bad effort and deserve a try.


'The Post War Musical' by Pilotlight is available now on Glasstone.

Pilotlight on MySpace and Twitter.

James Berclaz-Lewis

Alter The Press!