Flashlights – “Shadows and Lights” – Secret Mission Records REVIEW

One of the perks of being friends with various record labels is getting ahold of something you’ve never heard before. Being I write for two music-based publications, I’m listening to a lot of music each week. Sometimes it’s a major release and I’m trying to get my thoughts to an article before the heavyweights like Pitchfork get to it. But most of the time here at 50Thirdand3rd, I’m covering an indie label’s latest release in need of exposure. As I’ve said in previous articles, I don’t write about things I don’t like. At least at this publication. Part of my mission statement is to recommend good music to whoever is willing to listen.

This week I received a package from my friends at Secret Mission Records. You might remember my review of one of their releases earlier this year, The Outcasts – Tell Me The Whole Story. While that release was a nice history lesson, the album they sent this time was a complete mystery to me. Flashlights – Shadows and Lights.

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The wildest thing about this release? I’ve never heard of the album or the band before! Especially when it comes to a well-established band such as Flashlights. I googled around a bit and found out they’re from Tokyo, Japan and this was an earlier album never before released on vinyl. But that was really about it. I saw no other reviews, comments, history or anything. I was going into Shadows and Lights completely blind. No perceptions, nothing. Just hearing a record for the very first time.

Jangly guitars, power-pop melodies, and sweet reverb-laden vocals were the order of the day! Despite not knowing what they’re saying, I can tell Flashlights are an honest to goodness, top-notch rock band! Most importantly, the album is good! While most of the tracks stay in the garage rock lane bearing similarities with Hot Snakes or Shark?, there is a somewhat moodier side reminding me of Ty Segal. Despite none of the tracks showing any real aggression, Shadows and Lights doesn’t feel like a self-aware pop record or a novelty for the US. This is a real band putting out real music and it just so happens Secret Mission Records is making it available over here.

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I’d love to share some info about the band’s history or mission statement. Apply the lyrics of a song or two to various aspects of my life. Or talk about their live show. But I can’t! I don’t know the first thing about the band or its members. I can’t understand the lyrics so there’s none of that. And I’ve never seen them live. The only thing I can comment on is how I feel about the record I can’t stop listening to! Shadows and Lights is simply a good record!

As with The Outcasts release, Secret Mission Records are confident you’ll dig this record too! There are less than 500 vinyl copies over here in the US, but I have no doubt it will sell out soon. Don’t miss out!

To pick up your copy of Shadows and Lights by Flashlights, please visit Secret Mission Records.

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Aaron The Audiophile

Son, brother, uncle, musician. I enjoy music of all genres, shapes and sizes, preferably the good kind.

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