I have an old habit of keeping a eye out for keywords that reference The Velvet Underground when filtering through the colossal amount of new band releases. It’s useful in finding music that I’ll not only have an interest in, but can be assured the band in question has good taste.
San Diego’s Lights On set off two flags; the obvious being the “U” word in the title of this song/video they just released. As you’ll see, that has more to do with a kind of cold war bunker mentality than it has to do with Lou Reed. But, the second, and maybe less obvious, is the title of their debut record, “Here Comes The Ocean” — which any self-respecting VU aficionado would know is a line repeated in the VU’s song, “Ocean.”
Now that we’ve established that, Lights On don’t sound much like the VU at all, but like a thousand other talented bands that have taken their cues from the band someone once called, the psychopath’s Rolling Stones, they took something more intangible from them, a vibe, and ran with it.
It’s safe to say these guys listen to a ton of Modern Lovers, The Smiths, and Echo and the Bunnymen, whose vocals echo in what much of singer Tim Hines is styling on “Here Comes The Ocean.” The odd track, “We Live Underground” is filthier, tougher, and sounds more like something The Electric Prunes may have jammed in ’67 — if they were a bit stiffer and paranoid out of their goddamn minds.
Also — Listen to Lights On: “Red Lights Flashing.”