A Sense of Frustration That’s Uniquely Scottish – Bright side “Bright side” EP Review

A Sense of Frustration That’s Uniquely Scottish – Bright side “Bright side” EP Review

You don’t need personal or social turmoil and alienation to fuel heavy music any more. All you really need is great songs. More bands are missing that vital ingredient than they are sincerity, honesty and intensity. That’s not to say that all those things aren’t welcome, but you could be the most painfully honest band on the planet, and that doesn’t mean that your music will move anyone. Your sincerity may never be in doubt and all your shows may end in bloodshed but won’t necessarily inspire anyone to make sure that your band is the one that they need coming out of their headphones.

Brightside "Brightside" // Struggletown Records 2014
Brightside “Brightside” // Struggletown/Fulltone Records 2014

In something of a perfect storm Bright Side seem to be ticking all of the right boxes. This EP sounds impassioned and demands immediate repeated listens. But for all its raw sincerity, it’s tempered by some incredibly sweet melodies. Thankfully these avoid the tired melancholic glass like cleans that far too many bands mistake for the perfect way to provide a ‘sensitive’ moment. Brightside sound like a reactionary band, each musical section reacting to the one before it, occasionally threshing violently against the walls of the genre confines.

Paul McInally of 45 A Side Recordings has a knack for taking raw bands and polishing them up enough that we can see every exposed nerve. The production this EP feels warm and dynamic and it enhances the impact of the band’s quiet/loud approach to song-writing. There’s something to the ebb and flow of their music which manages to sit just the right side of being contrived.

Brevity is on the side of this release as well. You’re presented with four tracks that wander in, grab you by the throat and then quietly leave about 20 mins later. Though there’s variation across these tracks, they’re all still easily identifiable as the same band.  And to the band’s credit, you’d probably recognise them as Brightside as opposed to recognising them as “another melodic hardcore band”. Even if it is only just.

The band wear some of their influences somewhat obviously on their sleeve. The EP’s penultimate track, “Love Lost”, sounds like Touché Amore if they spent more time down the gym and less time at poetry open mic nights.The clenched teeth aggression across these tracks certainly has more in common with that sense frustration which is uniquely Scottish though.

8/10

Brightside is available now digitally and physically via Struggletown/Fulltone Records.

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