Various Successes I’ve Had is one of the best records I have acquired this year. That record is so pleasurable that I cannot dare to delete a track from it in my bereft-of-memory iPod; starting off with “Conviction I” to the highlight “Gold Light,” the album flows into a continuum of beauty. I had tried researching who’s the man behind Flashing Red Lights but it led me to Herculean results unrelated to the band.
Visiting Flashing Red Lights Bandcamp again earlier this week proved to be a fateful day. Not only I found out that he had just released a new EP but a tag that led to his identity.
Flashing Red Lights is the moniker of Glendale’s Mack Slevin, a musical project that has spanned over two EPs and a remix single.
“Weekday” by Flashing Red Lights
His recent work Faster Horses is a three- track collection of songs that take advantage of musical technology to develop a soundtrack to our daily lives and its contemporary anxieties, sounding not away from the modern haze but immersed vehemently in its meaning. “I come home from work, you can home work and we lie dead as leaves and dull as winter,” Slevin sings in “Weekdays” that would sound an Unhappy Hipsters episode only that he relishes in it, “I wouldn’t have it any other way,” he stresses. In “Truck Stops,” Slevin uses claustrophobic time signatures that relates well to illusion of travel and movement, a galloping warble of synth and pounding beats- “Now I’ve been working hard, been logging miles so I’d come back with something but now I get the feeling we’ve missed our time. We’re never gonna find a home,”- a wavering track about a “missed time” with someone. The last track in Faster Horses, “Spare Change,” is in some kind of a magical moment appropriates itself to the sound of I Break Horses’ “Hearts.” While the latter is more lustrous and noisy, “Spare Change” builds slow, to a whir before Slevin breaks it with his “more present” Paul Banks-dry baritone sounding prophetic, “When all the lights come down and all the backyards sleep after autumn. We’ll be the same inside. Lttle mouths on fire, just waiting.”
“Truck Stops” by Flashing Red Lights
Working on thicker textures both on instruments and melody, Slevin turns himself in armed with tighter lyrics and vocals that simply cut through the chills only to bring in colder winds. He sounds crystal-clear as if the words spell themselves out for him, leaping over his rich work of haunting sounds and mood. Flashing Red Lights latest Faster Horses deliver on the promise anointed to it by its predecessor and even took an extra mile to overwhelm expectations.