This New England quartet sets the bar high for how to successfully balance musicality, soul, and funk while producing a cohesive and emotion-provoking album. Blue Light Bandits do not confine themselves to any particular genre, as is clear in their evolution from their more pop and acoustic-tinged The B.L.B Demo (2014), to their recent mix of songs that blend tight grooves and warm synth sounds.
Despite the band’s music sounding like a full-on orchestra at times, this Worcester, Massachusetts, group is comprised of a mere four members: Dan DeCristofaro (keys and vocals) and Ethan Bates (bass and vocals), who are the two founding and central members of the band, as well as Simon Adamsson (drums) and Jay Faires (guitar), who are equally important for the band’s expansive sound.
The band does not cut any corners on Honestly Glad it Happened, and they draw listeners in right from the drum intro of “Hot Wax.” With the opening “Ohh!” line, the band creates a celebratory concert atmosphere in which they utilize the featured Oompa to introduce each of the band members. After just a few minutes, they set the stage for an exciting batch of songs.
“Every Day Is A Holiday,” which the group released as a single in 2020, follows as yet another celebratory track that has a certain bounce, inviting listeners to clap along, even if alone. The track really escalates as DeCristofaro and Faires take turns soloing, building to the final chorus and ending the song with surging power and gusto.
In “How We Used To Love,” they continue to dig deep into their unique blend of neo-soul, funk, and pop. The verses are funky, the choruses veer into pop, and the outro is hard-hitting and exciting; it all fits together to work seamlessly.
Blue Light Bandits acknowledge “After Rain” as a standout track in the album with a music video that features footage of the band at their house. DeCristofaro describes this song as “simply a love song to music,” which was more than eight years in the works when they recorded it. The music video is a glimpse into how immersed the band is in their music throughout their daily lives as a result of their self-made creative living space.
The band also released a live music video for their ninth track, “Punk Rock Dreams,” which displays their soulful percussive and harmonic groove, with ironically no trace of a “punk” sound.
The tasty guitar lines and rich vocals in “She’s Not The One” bring the album to a close in a very relaxing and emotional way, leaving listeners only wanting more from the Blue Light Bandits.
Fans are in luck, as the band will be playing at Lucky’s Lounge on August 27th and Medusa Brewing on August 28th, so be sure to get tickets now if in the Boston area to experience this groove-rock powerhouse in the flesh.