Tight Lungs debut release is a real cracker!
'You Will If You Love Me' is the debut full-length release from Tight Lungs. This four-piece are heavily influenced from other bands like Title Fight, Endless Heights and Major League in terms of the instrumentation - which isn't necessarily a bad thing. It's an album that's chock full of honest, emotional lyrics about love lost, anxiety, personal failings and regret. It's also full of gritty, yet warm and soulful guitars and your typical post-hardcore/pop- punk timbres and song structures.
The album's first three songs - 'Two Voices', 'All The Real Girls' and 'Departures' - embody these sounds fully, and the succeeding songs follow accordingly. That is, right up until the record's end, but there'll be more on that later. While the start of the album is great, it's the middle section that really stands out. Tucked right into the middle of the tracks is the slow risky guitar instrumental, 'Head Swells', which leads perfectly into 'Ego Choke'. This song has such a massively powerful chorus that it will instantly become a clear favourite for most listeners. This is mainly due to it being the only real "sing-along" song of the album, and as such, it really stands out, plus it's nearly impossible not to sing along to the chorus.
'Cold Sweat' and 'Rock Solid Sky' are where the band takes on a more raw, punk rock orientated sound with faster tempos and actual screams. Both of these songs are over five minutes long yet the group doesn't waste their time with them either, nor do they ever get repetitive. The quartet still retain the melodic aspect to their sound, so they both never feel out of place.
'Cold Sweat' in particular shows off the most personal lyrics of the album. It mainly speaks volumes about narcotic addiction - "...These church basements are the only thing between the needle and my arm. I was once so strong but now I'm just scared...", and then just as the silence creeps in, the band comes in all at once, and the lyrics - "What the fuck happened to me!? I used to be at peace, I used to be able to sleep..." - hits you like a freight train. It's easily one of the best moments here. 'Rock Solid Sky' closes things out and it has a faster, more upbeat tempo, and the real sense of urgency in the lyrics makes it the perfect circle pit song. It all adds a nice little cherry on top of this already great release.
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Vocal wise, it's all quite reminiscent of Chris Conley of Saves The Day, especially in how soft and light the tone and dynamics can be. When it comes to the screams and shouts however, they sound more like La Dispute's Jordan Dreyer from that band's first album. But don't be mislead, both vocal styles work really well for the overall sound. And even though the Tight Lungs' sound is nothing really that new these days, it's still an album that stands out as one of the genre's best in 2014.
In short, there a few things you should know: Tight Lungs are from New Jersey. They are one of these new-wave emo/post-hardcore/pop-punk bands. 'You Will If You Love Me' is a great debut album, and finally, Tight Lungs future looks very bright!
All The Real Girls
30th Street Station
Rock Solid Sky