Today marks the release of Left Over Right, the fifth full-length album from The Sights, who are touring this summer with Tenacious D. Now a quintet, this Detroit band has been excelling in bluesy power pop since 1998 and this album is no exception. If you're excited by the throwback soul/rock sounds that have been showing up on the radio, The Sights' latest album may be right up your alley.
The album starts off strong, opening with the bop-worthy track "Left Over Right" and followed by the screaming guitars of "Fool," both catchy, high energy tunes that show off their heavy '60s rock influence but tempers the retro feel with updated power chords. After that is the track "Prayer" which displays the same energy but has a definite soul sound, reminiscent of Creedence Clearwater Revival. It is that melding that most characterizes the album in its entirety.
However, there is a fine line between showing your influences and becoming a tribute to them. The middle of the album gets a little same-same after awhile. The tracks "Bad Man" and "You Are The Sunshine," while still displaying energy, are a little too retro and threaten to pour on more saccharine '60s sweetness than I think modern audiences are attuned to. The songs are still fun standalone, but my gut says that infusing a tad more modernity into the pop here, or alternatively, slowing down the tempo, would spice up the album as a whole.
That criticism aside, the album then brings it on strong again with the piano-driven energy of "Not As Pretty" and the attention-grabbing "Could Not Call It Love" that couples lyricism and fuzzy drums. The album ends well with the surprisingly twangy track "Easy Living," which is upbeat but slightly softer than previous songs.
Overall, the band has a great infectious energy and consistently strong, harmonic vocals. The addition of saxophone and organ elements both add to the '60s sound and push the energy higher (think The Isley Brothers), but I especially love how they captured the bassy, dry sound of '60s/'70s era drums. When I hear these songs I think the house party that started as a backyard bar-b-que and got a little rowdy (which is kind of how we all want our bar-b-ques to go, am I right?). I hope to hear these guys picked up on more radio stations - my bet would be on "Left Over Right" or "Fool" but I have a fondness for "Could Not Call It Love." Sometimes soaring, this album is a solid offering and showcases that what The Sights do, they do very well.