Hard rock outfit Look to the Lady’s E.P. Mechanical Lights flickers with promise but is ultimately held back by several deep-seated flaws indigenous to début records.
From the opening bars of ‘Red Light District’ the main issue that underpins Mechanical Lights becomes apparent. The “classic-rock” and punk-pop influences that Look to the Lady draw from feel underdeveloped, leading to a lack of connection sonically between the band and their music.
This attempt to recreate rather than expand upon their influences permeates throughout the E.P. eventually leaving the band struggling to define themselves and who they are, rather than who their influences are.
This is also not helped by the production that fails to give the record any real bite and the constant riffing of guitar that at times gets in the way of the songs themselves.
In context these are all problems that many bands encounter on début releases, and Look to the Lady can rectify these issues by really getting to the core of who they are as a band sonically and stylistically. And by identifying what they want to say with their music. It is only when they cast aside the shackles of their inspirations that they can begin to sound relevant.
And Look to the Lady do have the ability. On several occasions during the E.P., most notably on ‘Lose It All’, the band find their feet and create a sound that has both mood and character. It is in these moments you can hear the group evolve and express their sound. Through this a connection can be found sonically, as the music feels real and lived-in.
Mechanical Lights is the stereotypical rushed début and suffers from all the flaws that come with that label. Look to the Lady can be an interesting and unique band, the musicianship and talent is there. But the group must not get caught up trying to recreate the sound of overly friendly (and if I’m honest) bland radio-rock that is popular at this moment in time. Instead they must look to expand and create depth, edge and interest in their music. All of this is possible, but time and hard work is needed.
Mechanical Lights by Look to the Lady is out now.