Contact Light’s debut album Disconnect is a breath of deep, angsty-rock air, straight from the 2000s
Philadelphia, United States
Contact Light’s debut album Disconnect is a breath of deep, angsty-rock air, straight from the 2000s. Sporting the sharpest vocals I have perhaps ever heard, Disconnect is an honest and thought-provoking evolution of pop-punk and emo, delivering a sound that is unapologetically indie, so indie I wish everybody else was doing it.
The first beat of the album I was all in; drums that threw me way back but played with a modern gusto; a bass tone that was to die for 20 years ago, resurfaced, given a fresh lick of teen-sheen and set to work; backing a vocal talent that will grow and grow and grow. Mix Machine Gun Kelly’s Tickets to My Downfall with the tones and experimental drive of The 1975 and you can get close to what Contact Light has perfected for us. They just do it cooler (sorry Matthew Healy).
The album opens up, like 100s before it, with ‘Paint’. Punchy drums, punchy bass, punchy lyrics. Although the message is present and well delivered. This isn’t some - shout ‘till you’re hoarse because who cares - kind of deal, this is a well-written and sculpted piece of music. To drive this point home, ‘Paint’ melds directly into ‘Glitter’. You don’t have time to breathe or take in what just happened, ‘Glitter’ is upon you and you will enjoy it. The mood shifts, giving us something new, to the album and the scene. Opening with keys that ring at a pace. You could fool yourself into a false pop-hope but when the rest of the instrumental joins in you know this is unique. The vocals never get lost behind the experimental sounds that bounce off each other, with pads and tweets and some slick drum fills.
‘History’ once again blows out of the void following on from ‘Glitter’. Hard melodic focus and some conversational singing that will grip you with every word, also some extremely dynamic guitar fills and jazzy breaks that keep you on your toes. ‘Queen’ gives us a break from the fast-paced action with a soothing electric medley adorned with plucked guitars and some 80s tom fills. Hard bass rolls through the song and reminds us - hey this is still indie-emo and don’t you forget it. How could you forget it, with a hard hitter like ‘Drown’ up next, with its barking guitars and soaring vocals? I will admit, listening to ‘Drown’ makes me wish for Contact Light to do the next Bond theme, they’d nail it.
I could touch base for every song, and talk about how ‘Attitude’ throws us off our stride with trap beats but makes a punk like me love the textures it brings to the genre. How the acoustic ‘Blue’ is so soulful it aches. Or how ‘Bones’ is in my head and most likely will be till death do us part. I would very much rather you go and listen to this new post-punk emo classic yourself. Get used to hearing chatter about Disconnect because it one hundred per cent deserves it.
I want to finish with a note on the production and vocals on the album. Each instrument feels alive, the tone that is buried deep in the bones of Disconnect is so revealing. It shows that Contact Light lives and breathes for this sound. They are here to innovate and make waves and they are clearly doing so. The vocals are sharp, I mean really sharp. Ne’er a word slurred, syllable dropped or line mumbled and it is fantastic to see such clarity hit the scene again. With many bands getting lost in the chaos of the noise, Contact Light breaks the norm and returns to the foundation of punk and emo, building and shaping their way up to the present day in a fashion that is exemplary. I tip my hat, boots and my motorcycle. If you’re in or around
Philadelphia, what are you waiting for? See this band live and let me know how it feels to be in the presence of future heroes.