Their Views are Their Own

Mediocre pop-rock tunes from Floodlights on their LP From A View (WOO ME WOOME 011CD)…

The band are a four-piece from Melbourne, this is their first record, and these 11 songs are, we are told, attempting to address some high-minded and complex themes, under the abstract terms of “identity” and “misuse of power”, as well as more conventional love songs such as on the song ‘Thanks For Understanding’. Although…even this simple theme is made into something complex and ambiguous, depicting some sort of prolonged crisis moment for the singer as they drift apart from a friend or loved one. Laudable sentiments on paper, but nothing on the record rings true; every song here is delivered in the same flat, even tone, and it’s hard to pick out any nuances of real emotion in the singing. Might be there’s one too many words getting in the way; as they labour to pack these ungainly sentences into song form, the singer (or singers) tends to project the same vaguely hectoring, dissatisfied monotone through the whole album. It would help me also if they sang about something that’s real and personal to them, instead of this dreary list of “worthy issues” which they think should occupy our attention. It’s like spending 40 mins in the company of an earnest first-year student on a sociology course.

As to the music, the band are competent enough as they chug through these unvarying rhythms and predictable changes, but I’m not feeling the promised “edgy” mood in these jangle-pop songs, well-constructed and executed though they be; Floodlights simply lack tension, and their frequent use of minor chords is no substitute for delivering some genuinely critical content. The press photograph shows four well-dressed young people, trying hard to strike a nonchalant pose while wearing expensive designer jeans and trainers. I don’t trust that look, nor those faintly smug grins; they all look too untroubled and contented to me. (01/07/2020)