ViewsNo Panic! Records
By Cole Faulkner
German punk rock band The Lamplighters follows in the footsteps of political punk acts like those before them. Full of meaty, anthemic melodies in the vein of Anti-Flag and Banner Pilot, the band’s latest full length presents a burgeoning sound that should perk ears. Views frames the band’s gruff persona with catchy riffs and a convincing chorus lines that feels most in line with North American Fat Wreck Chords fare.
Spanning sharp punk rock, playful pop-punk and thumping drums that land with enough force to instigate a marching beat, Views immediately feels well-rounded. Opening with the title track, The Lamplighters lead the charge with the most anthemic of openers. Compelling handclaps, bolstered gang vocals and hearty riffs bring to mind modern Anti-Flag singles like “Brandenburg Gate.” The bulk of the tunes that follow succeed on the sloppy, throat-torn, dual vocals of Mickilampi and Melzilampi as the two compliment one another’s gruff tone. Other songs like “Basement” and “I Don’t Like You” showcase the band’s clear appreciation for the Ramones lineage, whereas those like “Fairytale” find allegiance in fast paced tempos with catchy, sing along choruses.
A few notable highlights present The Lamplighters as more than a “me too” punk act. For instance, “All We Need” showcases a sense of thematic resilience to the world’s dark landscape and personally destructive moments. Meanwhile, tracks like “Burden” thrive on swelling guitar work that counters itself with introspective mid-song bridge, in which both vocalists tone down their voices and embracing their cleaner element. “Wish” hits all the right notes for very different reasons. With a sloppy, slurred vocal delivery that would fit well alongside Rancid, the band plays out the song’s pseudo-street punk delivery, managing an easy and familiar appeal. Cumulatively, these exciting moments allow Views to overcome the syle’s somewhat “familiar” feel, and help listeners get the most of their audio encounter.
The Lamplighters might not break any new ground, but they certainly take full advantage of the ground they stand on. Views establishes the German four-piece as an anthemic force to be reckoned with and showcases the confidence to draw upon multiple punk-leaning influences. No surprises, no frills or gimmicks, just really solid punk rock.