Attic Lights

Love in the Time of Shark Attacks

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Scotland's Attic Lights grabbed some of the indie rock spotlight in 2008 after signing to Island Records and issuing their hooky, '70s power pop-influenced debut Friday Night Lights. An equally infectious follow-up, Super De Luxe, arrived on Spain's Elefant Records in 2013, after which they issued a few singles and toured before falling relatively silent. What were they up to? Well, primarily, lead singer/songwriter Kev Sherry was preoccupied with several of his other projects including launching his comic book Warpaint, writing his debut novel, and recording his own solo album. This, in addition to the notoriously long time the band takes to write their songs, seems like a reasonable explanation for a six-year hiatus. Also during the interim, guitarist Jamie Houston returned to the fold, reconstituting the group's original line-up from Friday Night Lights. All of which brings us to the band's third full-length, 2019's effusively amiable Love in the Time of Shark Attacks. Aggressively silly title aside, the album (the band's second for Elefant) finds the Glasgow quartet once again dreaming up thoughtfully melodic songs rife with '70s and '90s rock guitar hooks that do nothing to dissuade the group's well-earned comparisons to Teenage Fanclub and Weezer. Like their debut, Shark Attacks nicely showcases the singer/songwriter talents of Sherry, whose nasally brogue, while perhaps an acquired taste, is nonetheless one of the more charmingly distinctive aspects of Attic Lights' sound. The opening "Never Be Myself" sparkles with piano and 12-string guitar, making the most of the band's knack for carefully layered vocal harmonies. Similarly engaging, "Kings of Whatever" is a chuggy slacker anthem, memorable for its fuzztone guitars and catchy chorus. Elsewhere, they sidle up to the rock & roll bar with "Ruby's Song," mixing equal parts Rolling Stones swagger and Bay City Rollers bubblegum. Despite the long wait between albums, Love in the Time of Shark Attacks never sounds belabored. Just the opposite: it feels like four good friends who can still evoke the sense of fun and enthusiasm they no doubt felt in their earliest moments together.

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