London pop-rockers Nightlife have certainly kept fans on their toes, having not released material since 2013. However, with the first single from their debut LP Salt and Acid teasing us on the album’s potential, the anticipation is almost too much. Already having two EP’s under their belt, we assume that we will be exposed to a similar sound offered before. This definitely is not the case for the release, which has taken a much more pop-rock influence, as opposed to their previous pop-punk vibe. Nevertheless, this album is the perfect debut for these guys.
Opening track ‘Left Alone’ strongly establishes their position on this record; bold riffs throughout from guitarist Will Wilson paired with clean and concise vocals suggest a much more mature stance on their music. This song makes it impossible to sit still when listening; head bobbing galore. A strong and well-defined dynamic makes this track the perfect opener.
The generic themes of love and upset are heavily apparent throughout this record. However, third track ‘Out of Your Mind’ suggests otherwise. It’s apparent why it was chosen to be released ahead of ‘Salt & Acid’, with the lyrics suggesting that songs about young love are a waste of time; “Why is everything about these love drunk voices I’ve got no time for” highlights frontman Paul Foster’s agitation at the very thought of teen love.
Throughout the album, Foster’s lyrics are undeniably extraordinary, especially in track seven, Lonely at the Wheel. The track takes on a slower pace than the rest of the album, giving Foster the opportunity to showcase the impressive range of his voice. This slower track signifies the huge leap in style from their most recent EP, For The Record. Nevertheless, it works well for Foster’s voice, as well as working to showcase the tightness of the band as a whole.
Each song on this release can grip you in one way or another. However, ‘Wake Me When It’s Over’ is the highlight of this album. The nostalgic essence shines through Wilson’s delicate riffs in each verse. However, the chorus catapults me back to earth with its gritty approach and raw vocals.
Salt and Acid is certainly an impressive debut from Nightlife, full of hooks and melodies which keep you on your toes. The conciseness of this release is definitely a game changer, which highlights their leap in maturity and experience.