Released July 7, 2015
Label: Static Tension Records
Kyle Brandt – vocals,
Jeff Irvine – Guitar,
Andy Schiller – Bass,
Josh Bennett – Guitar,
Nick Sloan – Drums.
1 – Torn (page #21)
2 – No Charge (page #22)
3 – Between Shores (page #51)
4 – World Through The Window (page #29)
5 – To Have; To Hold (page #13)
6 – Glaso (page #47-48)
I came across Kansas’ A Light Within, a couple of years ago, when they left a comment/song link on a Porcupine Tree post, i checked it out and was blown away, immediately snapping up the digital EP, and never looked back since.
That will tell you something about an influence on this band. Though the genius of Steven Wilson would be an understandable inspiration, the individual members are also bonded by the love of one band, specifically, Junius.
These 2 bands, along with ALW’s first EP, ‘Preface‘, will give you a heads up what to expect here. But then again………you maybe surprised! For me, this has been a long time coming, the 20 minutes/3 songs of their still available debut definitely whetted my appetite and, finally, the new release, ‘Body Matter’, is available to all.
A Light Within don’t, necessarily, do 3 minute pop songs that will get you bopping around the room with a big grin of your face. They play music that you have to give in to, to invest yourself in, to LISTEN to, and be rewarded for, accordingly. The song titles are prefaced wink emoticon with Page Numbers, as is ALW’s way, and these new 6 ‘pages’ mark a noticeable change/evolution from their debut. It’s no secret that ALW have chosen to expand, and experiment, more this time around and that shows, and in this case, it’s a successful move.
First up, after the initial 1 minute intro, ‘Torn‘ (or ‘Page #21’, if you prefer) could it be waves? Could it be an incoming electrical storm? Whatever it is, new bassist, Andy Schiller, hits the ground running at the start of ‘No Charge‘ (Page #22). Probably their fastest song………now when i say ‘fast’, remember we aren’t talking The Great Kat on speed, here, this is A Light Within! While ‘Preface‘ could be described as ‘dreamy’ or even ‘laid back’, ‘No Charge‘ could, and should, be a blistering opener to the live set judging by this, and judging by Schiller’s performance overall, it should make ALW a far heavier-sounding live experience. Fans of the band will probably have noticed hints of Chino Moreno in Kyle Brandt’s voice, this is present again on this song, not in an irritating way, and, it is just one facet of his voice this time around. Kyle has worked hard on his singing in the interim, and there’s a lot more facets to his style these days, though still favouring the Flagg Mic (best described as an old telephone from the red telephone boxes of yesteryear! No, really!) to give him his unique sound. Third up is ‘Between Shores (Page #51), early on bringing to mind a hint of ‘October Rust‘, and while Brandt will never be a Pete Steele, there is a slight Gothy vibe here and there on this, before the song comes to an abrupt end, but that’s not before, drummer, Nick Sloan gets a chance to work up a sweat. Another reason you should look forward to hearing these songs live.
‘World Through The Window‘ (Page #29) is next up, one of 2 tracks off this ep that i have heard as part of a live download that was very briefly available last year. Jeff Irvine and Josh Bennett letting loose their distinctive guitar sound again on this one, another noticeable step forward on this EP. As with ‘No Charge‘, it’s an in-your-face 4.48 that has Kyle probably closest to his vocals on ‘Preface‘.
‘To Have; To Hold‘ (Page #13) is a beautiful, short piano led interlude, with minimal vocal, written and performed solely by Brandt. Final track, ‘Glaso‘ (Page #47-48), is the other track on the live download i mentioned before, and a comparatively older song. At 8.53, the longest song on the EP and Kyle is, again, giving it some on this one. Coupled with the guitars that are at the core of BM, it makes for a pretty epic finish to an awesome ep. I would recommend checking out ‘Preface‘ as well as ‘Body Matter‘, they are 2 different sides of A Light Within and this time they have added new sounds, new pages, new moods to their catalogue As i say, the rewards are there for letting yourself go and discovering this band, A Light Within fans will be happy to know that the wait was well worth it and with a couple of very exciting plans ahead in the pipeline, it’s a perfect time for newcomers to discover them for yourself.
Review by Jason Soper
SCORE 8.5 / 10