REVIEW: The Bright Smoke @ Nora Darling, New York, NY

thebrightsmoke1The Bright Smoke, made up of Mia Wilson on lead vocals and rhythm guitar and Quincy Ledbetter on lead guitar, played Saturday night at the Nora Darling venue at 161 W22nd St NYC. For this special show, they were a 4-piece ban, consisiting of a drummer, lead guitarist, laptop beats creator and lead singer playing rhythm guitar.

The Bright Smoke is listed under the genre of alternative, indie, noir. If I could call up one band that I could compare this sound to, it would have to be Pink Floyd. The kind of band not afraid to take the Ear Less Traveled!

This is the kind of acquired taste that takes the listener to strange and familiar places they may have forgotten. Not always pleasant, yet, you’re glad you went. The sound has a way of making the listener feel at ease with feeling what they might not want to.

Each song is like a different dream or nightmare.

The song “City on an Island,” was performed with dueling lead and rhythm guitars that have very different sounds, yet complement each other very well. I would also include the genre of jazz, as the musicians, at times, sound like they’re playing independently yet together. Sultry, seductive. Angry lead guitar went into melodic riffs.

There were abrupt endings on most songs. The music is designed to almost do a 180. It takes the listener in one direction just to change course.

Dreamy playing on rhythm guitar and Wilson’s strong, dramatic voice takes the listener on a journey – one must surrender to while creating a feeling of apprehension.

Very dramatic, theatrical and dark.

It sounds like it could be the sound track from a Stanley Kubrick film.

The band’s song called “Or” feels like slow motion or like it’s the wrong speed and heavy. Dreary even. It gives the listener the feeling of confronting ones demons – almost like a death march. Climactic. It’s a cool duet of lead and rhythm guitars.

The song is designed to massage the mind. You don’t know what direction it’s going to take. It was like a duel between dark and light. Again, there was an abrupt ending.

The song titles are not easily identified. No choruses repeated over and over like in many songs we’ve all heard.  It’s buried in the song and doesn’t stand out.

The last song likened to a horse galloping on the open plains. It had a different sound than the others. It was cowboy-sounding or possibly like a ride on a motorcycle. It was about an impossible love that one can’t be in or get out of.

Full of passion and fury. Ripping lead guitar. Dramatic. Once again, abrupt end. Be prepared for a unique sound experience.

The Bright Smoke is definitely worth checking out to expand the audio palate.

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Cat April Watters

Author: Cat April Watters

On a Truth Diet! Purging myself of all the LIES from Society.