Black Bottom Lighters – 2 Or 2000
2.) Rockin’ and Rollin’
4.) Lil’ Mama
6.) Herbal Essence
8.) How Good
10.) Can’t Take Me
11.) Language of My Soul
12.) No Time To Lose
13.) I’m Still Here
The Pier Album Rating:
Release Date: April 18th, 2015
Official Website: Black Bottom Lighters Website
Black Bottom Lighters is a self-described Desert Reggae group of six individuals that call Glendale, Arizona, their home. This particular musical journey started in 2010, and has since seen quite a level of success that many bands should envy and strive for. The band is on their Phoenix, Arizona’s KWSS station on regular rotation, and they have also beat out 1200 other bands in order to participate in Jacksonville, Florida’s “The Big Ticket Music Festival.” Having released their first EP in 2012, fans have since then been clamoring for new material. The day has finally come, and the band has just released their first full-length album, just in time for summer.
I have to admit, I thought I was going to have trouble reviewing this album since the first fifteen seconds of the album were silent. Whether this was intentional or not, it definitely got my attention. The intro catches the attention of the listener by introducing them to the sounds of the band. Almost instantly, the energy this band has could be felt reverberating my eardrums with insane guitar solos and high-energy breakdowns, a good start.
“Rockin’ and Rollin’” is the band’s first actual song on the album. The music is on point, and the guitar solos unquestionably deserve praise. The listener will discover that there’s not just one vocalist doing all the songs, but rather, the vocal duties are shared between Ryan ‘Stilly,’ and ‘Taide.’ Of those two, the vocal styles differ in a way that the songs are interesting to listen to, since you never know when another vocalist is going to take over. The changes between the two are done pretty effectively and the songs flow well.
Jose on the bass-guitar can be heard doing some cool stuff on both “Carousel,” and “Changes.” The best song of these two, and of the album, however, is undeniably “Changes,” though. The flow of this song combines hip-hop verses with rock choruses and a guitar-driven bridge. This tune’s buildup after the bridge has the potential to become a crowd-favorite. The track is awesome from start to finish.
One thing that got my attention was the plethora of references to marijuana. While it’s cool for a reggae band to sing about weed, to mention it in almost every song seemed like overkill. With a musical powerhouse of such magnitude, this band should attempt to explore other lyrical opportunities, like other social issues, which are just as important. A diversification of lyric themes within an album is essential in order to keep the audience engaged and interested. The other common theme was relationships, which was sure to get people’s attention. But aside from these two, what message is the band trying to convey to their fans? From listening to this album, one of the messages that will stand out is the fact that the band likes to smoke weed. Again, this is all right, if that’s what the band is trying to achieve.
Other songs that stood out for me were “Astronauts,” “How Good,” and “I’m Still Here,” all of which deliver a strong sense of musical expertise that was pleasant to listen to. “Can’t Take Me,” earns an honorable mention for its ska influences that are bound to get crowds riled up at live shows. The ability to blend ska and rock influences, not to be confused with the ska/rock genre we are so familiar with, is certainly one of the highlights of this album. The band can blend genres into their songs with ease and the way they do it shows the band has talent.
Altogether, since this is the band’s first full-length album, it definitely deserves praise for its quality. Even the production of the album was flawless, which is usually a rarity. It’s a great album and a strong start for a band that is going places.
Written & Reviewed By: Juan Barragan
[Editors Note: All reviews are reflective of the album in it’s entirety, from start to finish. These reviews are the honest opinion of each writer/reviewer expressing their feedback as a genuine fan of the music. Each star rating reflects their review of the album, NOT the band. Music is subjective. Regardless of the review or star rating, we encourage you to listen to the music yourself & form your own opinion. Spread the awareness of all music in its art & contribution]
Watch: Black Bottom Lighters – “Down For You”