Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Figures of Light Punches In A Classic Punk Gem With Drop Dead

Throwaway that polished recording from modern punk rock rebellion. They are giving a bad name to the genre, and really, Broadway? Come on, get that out of here. Figures of Light shows the youngsters how it’s done with their 2012 release “Drop Dead”. The 15 tracks that are showcased on this record is an example of what punk rock was and is today. They may refer to themselves as proto-punk, but it’s once again so much more. It’s not just one genre, its garage, surf, rock, alternative, and nostalgic all in the same breath. From the opening track of “My Box Rocks” and the follow up “Fifteen Minutes of Fame”, you get something that fits so well in nearly every decade of punk and alternative from 1970 forward.

Even with songs like “Alice” you can see that original rock sound that started to blossom in the late 50s and start getting kids in trouble in the 1960s. This is not just a retrograde record or something that nostalgia freaks are going to be pushing around as one of those “cooler” than you records. It’s not Interpol, and it’s not the Silver Lake vibe that you get with a lot of the up and coming acts coming through gentrification of Downtown areas, it’s original. Some may want to point fingers and say they are emulating Iggy Pop or Lou Reed, but when you realize that Figures of Light started in 1970, hands come down alongside jaws.

That’s right, the band has been putting out music and doing the “punk” thing for so long, that the blaring guitars on “You’re So Innocent” deliver a taste of what’s been missing in modern music for so long. “Drop Dead” isn’t highly polished, and it wouldn’t sound the same if it was. It’s a modern rock and roll record played the way it should be played, dirty. This is the type of music that gets revival-rockers excited, because it’s raw, engaging, and stripped down. It reminds me of the compilations that were being mailed out from Epitaph records in the early 90s. I mean, the guys at Epitaph were putting out blues, hip hop, rockabilly, and ska before it was even cool, and now look at them? Bunch of idiots. That’s beside the point, back to “Drop Dead”. The 15 tracks here all work well together, formulating a good selection of tunes that can only be described as 1970s infused punk. Even “Never mind The Bollocks” seems hyper polished compared to the sound that Figures of Light have managed to brand as their own.

If you want to listen to “Drop Dead” pick up the record here, it’s a shot in the arm of pure rock and roll. It’s fast at times, it’s slow at times, and then when you think you have the guys pinned down, they throw in guitar solos that bridge so much more. Norton Records definitely has an eye for talent, releasing this record, incredible timing too.

Figures of Light - I Give Up - Lyrics Video from Figures of Light Archive on Vimeo.
Figures of Light was an American music band founded in 1970, which disbanded in 2015. This channel features some of their videos as a permanent archive. Check out our website at

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