Album Review

Light Bulb Alley – “The Bright Side Of The Dumpster” [Album Review]

Light Bulb Alley have been hanging out in the underbelly of the Montreal music scene for nearly a decade now, but they’ve released an album that might change all that. Check out our review for more.



Exploring previous material from Light Bulb Alley, it becomes clear that the Montreal outfit fronted by Allister Booth has been throwing their sound at the wall with little to no outside influence or exposure for some time now. It’s been an exploration of sound and slow and painstaking self-reflection for years, nearly a decade. In that vacuum, it’s hard to emerge with a crafted and clear vision of that sound that the musician, vocalist, and lyricist is exploring, if at all. The majority of times it results in a band that, while they may not go places as their sound is decidedly out of sync with what is in vogue, on occasion there is a tectonic shift into something that is akin to sliding into gear to overtake in the fast lane. And I can say that with The Bright Side Of The Dumpster, the second full length released by the band.

The band assembled in 2007, tinkering and exploring. One can safely imagine them learning song structure and execution together, high school kids learning the difficult art of what it means to write songs and execute them. By 2011, at the release of their first full length, The Sound Of Things, the most basic aspects are covered. But what was left was the final piece that has emerged on this release.

Production is key on this record. Where before there was a charming lo-fi fuzz on their first album, it was also tinny and flat, and while this may have endeared them to bands like Ty Segall, the difficulty is that Light Bulb Alley are interested in straight forward rock and roll, and so have managed to remain under the radar. It feels like old Rolling Stones, with Bo Didley and The Cramps nods in good turn. The latter becomes more apparent the more you hang along for the ride on the record, with such goodies as “Lost My Girlfriend” and the sinister “Who Do You Love”. But ultimately, this sound requires the guiding hand of a recording artist, and now that this has been accomplished on this record, the result is an album that exhibits the true potential of the band.

However, it remains potential, as the band are (for all intents and purposes) currently unsigned, and so they lie naked and exposed under the scene in Montreal. Their videos, while they get across the point, remain as lo-fi as their earlier work. This is a band that has had to do everything on their own, every step of the way. What’s clear is that when they’ve had a helping hand, though, they’ve managed to rise to the occasion and greatly raise the par of work they are more than capable of achieving. The result is something as groove-laden and captivating as The Bright Side Of The Dumpster.

The Bright Side Of The Dumpster Track Listing:

01. Pepper Spray
02. I Only Got Two Feet
03. Maryjane
04. The Roads Must Part
05. Mary
06. Bad Day
07. Vulture
08. Wanna Be Loved
09. Lost My Girl Friend
10. Who Do You Love

Run Time: 35:00
Release Date: September 8, 2016

Check out the track “Pepper Spray”


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