Release Date: Jul 21, 2009
Record label: Drag City
Genre(s): Indie, Rock
Rites is just about as good a stoner rock album as I've heard in as long as I can remember. It's also one of the better radio-ready pop records of the last several months, and occasionally a more than adequate (if swivel-troublingly ethereal) dancefloor filler. That's some gap between Acid King and Kelly Clarkson, you know, a challenge the shapeshifting Brooklyn collective Lights meet at nearly every turn; pure, pretty pop rubs elbows with fistpump fodder in the same song, occasionally intermingling but never interfering.
It's Lavender Diamond! No, it's Jesse Sykes & the Sweet Hereafter! Oh, wait a minute, it's the Gossip! Trying to get your bearings while listening to Rites, the Drag City debut of the Brooklyn-based band Lights, can be something of a disorienting experience. One minute, you're immersed in sweet, gentle folk-pop with cooing croonery and warm, liquid waves of guitar. The next, you're plunged into a full-on psychedelic experience, with Jerry Garcia-like riffs and Grace Slick-via-Bananarama vocals.