Wednesday, October 05, 2016

Rocktober Deep Cut Artist #3: Razorlight

For the criteria for bands and artists to be considered "deep cut artists," click here.

Band or artist:  Razorlight
Where from:  UK
Years active: 2002-present
Number of studio albums:  3
Highest-charting single on the Billboard Hot 100:  N/A
Highest-charting studio album on the Billboard 200:  N/A

I don't remember how I first heard about Razorlight's 2004 debut album, Up All Night, but I am glad I did.  It might be my favorite debut album from last decade.  The songs are catchy, raw, energetic, and punkish, but not too punkish.  That's about as vague a description as possible, but listen to the album, and it will make sense.

The band has done really well in its native UK, with all three of their albums cracking the top 4 on the UK album charts and nine of their singles making it into the UK Top 40 (including five Top 10 and one #1).  However, for whatever reason, the band's success didn't translate across the pond.  Hell, I saw them play at The Double Door in front of a few hundred people in March 2009, in support of an album that hit #4 on the UK charts.  In the US, to the extent anyone has heard of them, it may be related to the fact that lead singer Johnny Borrell dated Kirsten Dunst for a while.

Though the band hasn't released an album since 2008's Slipaway Fires, they are technically still together, and there have been rumors of a new album for several years.  In my mind, Slipaway Fires and their sophomore eponymous album in 2006 didn't capture the energy of their debut album, although the Razorlight album did hit #1 on the UK charts and spawned the band's only #1 song ("America").  That's not to say they are bad albums.  I just didn't like them as much as Up All Night.

To that end, I'm going with my favorite Razorlight song, "Stumble And Fall," as the featured song.  This song is fast-paced, post-punk revival, indie rock at its best.  Catchiness, up-and-down tempos that leave you wanting more, driving drums, jangly guitars, a galloping bassline, and Borrell's wailing voice all add up to form a great song.  Frankly, this formula is what makes Up All Night so great, so definitely check it out if you like what you hear.

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