With their October 16th release of Light Me Up, Bronze Radio Return demonstrate their ability as a half-decent band. They are not the type of group that really captivates me, but a few of their songs from the past, like “Shake Shake Shake” and “Further On”, have helped to keep me interested in the group. I keep hoping that their progression as a band will carry them to a point where I can listen to a whole album and enjoy its uniqueness. As it stands, Light Me Up is merely a perpetuation of the band’s stagnant musical ability.
In this new album, the band demonstrates no distinctive strong points. Sure, songs like “Light Me Up” and “Pocket Knife” have a summer-time flow; however, given that vibe, it seems shortsighted to release the album at this point in the year. During the transition into cold weather, I am not inclined to listen to music that makes me look back to better weather. I gravitate more towards songs with seemingly endless guitar riffs that help me connect to a greater sense of misery walking in frigid weather. In their piece “Only Temporary,” Bronze Radio Return does surprise me by saying “hun” repeatedly, as I had thought this word to only be a Pittsburghese phrase. It is not a great sign for an album, though, when I find myself only intrigued by the curious use of singular words. Having failed to retain my interest beyond the thrust of the album, Bronze Radio Return seems to add filler in “Keep or Lose,” “Build a Stage,” and “Nowhere to Be.”
Seven tracks into the album, there may be a potential bright point in “Give Me All Your Doubt.” I’m not saying it’s a particularly great song; however, it explores a few unique sound add-ins that gained my attention. It seems cruel to get my hopes up though, as they killed my enthusiasm with a bland “Say Hello Sometime.”
The lyrics of this album are not particularly inspiring. The sound of Bronze Radio Return seems to have dwindled to a blending of several other below-average alternative bands. I see nothing incredibly unique, and I am saddened by the lack of ambition in Light Me Up.