Tony Molina doesn’t mess around with tracks. His ripping guitar mix of fuzz that was his 2013 record, Dissed And Dismissed, ran 12 songs in just over 11 minutes. His Confront The Truth EP (2016) contained 8 songs in 10 minutes. And now his new LP, Kill The Lights, offers up 10 new tunes in 14 minutes.
What makes Kill The Lights so striking is that all the guitar brimstone and fire that impressed our ears in 2013 has now been replaced with a soft Teenage Fanclub blended with Elliott Smith or Tobin Sprout fronting The Byrds type of sonic experience. It has a sweet Beatlesque vibe that leans towards George Harrison as Molina’s tiny guitar solos steal the show on songs like “Look Inside Your Mind/Losin’ Touch,” “Jasper’s Theme” and “Now That She’s Gone.”
With such a short running time there is no room for error and each song on Kill The Lights hits the right nerve. The simplistic beauty of how this record blends into a harmonic loop is fantastic and memorable. You want more but you are still satisfied. Molina hinted at this sound on his 2016 EP but Kill The Lights plays this swaying vibe all the way out to perfection.
It will be interesting if Molina returns with a harder edge on his next outing or if Kill The Lights is his new normal. Regardless of which way he goes, Tony Molina has just proved that he is one of the best singer/songwriters currently releasing music. Without question, Kill The Lights will endure the rest of the year with its timeless delivery and will be a contender in our year end Top 50. I highly recommend you add Tony Molina to your listening playlist now!
For more of Christopher Anthony’s music reviews, check out The Fire Note
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David Edwards is the editor of The Blurb and a contributor on film and television