Rust Belt Lights - Religion & My Ex

February 26, 2014 by Chris Parker

Rust Belt Lights - Religion & My Ex

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“Just Words”

February 25, 2014 - Adeline

AP Rating:

Buffalo, New York, quintet Rust Belt Lights' second full-length doesn’t skimp on energy nor fall prey to leaden lines. The 12-song disc crackles with machine-gun drum rhythms and crashing hard-candy guitars bashing out pop-punk hooks. Frontman Zach Dietsch’s songs vacillate between lovelorn ache and no-surrender anthems, but even though the subject matter’s not the most original, Dietsch is still a pretty good lyricist. He wonders how “forever became never suddenly” in the chorus of “Dead Letters”; while getting shitfaced on Maker’s Mark in the punky, four-on-the-floor “Parkside,” he notes how “we keep burning to annihilated the work week. Why can’t we reignite our idle goals?” On the breakneck anthem “Stay Young Or Try Dying,” he hopes they’re more than “booze, caffeine, weed, tar and nicotine,” while still steadfast in his personal faith: “Don’t waste on single breath telling me about what’s not possible.” The songs with pace—like the hardcore-tinged "There is An Ocean” and the album opener, “Wasted Wishing”—are more successful than the heartsick emo ballads like romantic mea culpa “Stolen Lines” and “If Nothing Ever Changes.” The arrangements seem to lose their tautness when they don’t race, making them feel soggy and waterlogged. The exception is “Haunted Streets,” whose chiming guitar tone at times evokes Jets To Brazil. The album closes on a high note with “Just Words,” a rich, knotty, inventive rocker whose chorus offers Dietsch’s best extended metaphor: “We are words that don’t quite rhyme, underused and redefined, out of tune and out of time.”


adeline records rust belt lights