Light Years – ‘Afterlife’

Light Years, fresh out of Ohio, is releasing their 7th album Afterlife via Rude Records on November 30th. We’ve been graced with music videos and streams of  “Back Then” and “Bottle Rocket.” An introspective and autobiographical album; Afterlife is perfectly crafted by the punk foursome of Pat Kennedy, Tommy Englert, Andrew Foerst and Kent Sliney who’ve been playing together since 2009. Great to their fans, genuinely kind and funny, Light Years share their history with us while conveying crucial themes of persistence and passion with Afterlife.

Afterlife is a binge worthy album you can play top to bottom and over and over. Or, if you’re me, put it on repeat until you drive everyone around you insane because you only want to listen to one album for a month. “Back Then” kicks off Afterlife, this coming-of-age tune is a fun, fast-paced power hit.

A standout and a more somber track, “It Doesn’t Matter” carries heavier lyrics and an impeccably mastered and performed intro. The song tackles the tough lesson of who will really be there for you in life; with brooding lyrics “Who’ll catch you when you come down, who will be watching when the lights go out. No. Don’t matter where you’re going now. It doesn’t matter.”

Moving down the album, “Paradise” has a tempo of a classic punk song, I visualize in a new Tony Hawk Pro Skater game. This track focuses on getting through the worst of things knowing there is light at the end of the tunnel. “Where we end up nobody really knows / I keep running til my heart explodes / cuz I know it’s gotta get better” washes through the chorus of “Paradise”. Between the jam ridden chorus riffs of “Bottom of the Ocean” and the ultra catchy beats in “Should Have Been” this album has so many incredible instrumental sections paired with pensive lyrics.

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Afterlife is a triumphant work exemplifying lessons learned after living a life of chasing your dreams, loving, and losing. Relatable and endearing, this album gives us a behind-the-scenes peak of the Light Years through the years.  From toddlers to prom and tour videos in “Back Then”, the foreshadowed themes present in single releases from Afterlife are spot on.  Light Years finds themselves in Afterlife. With a maturity in their sound, lyrics, and music the album is magnificent.

Afterlife is the album punk scenes need right now, bravely broaching the topics so many of their fans will face; like standing up for yourself to someone resurfacing from your past in “How Are You” and trying without the fear of failing in “Burning in My Blood.” Afterlife makes the listener feel understood while resonating with shared personal experiences and encouraging us all to keep fighting through the challenges, find ourselves, and try new things along the way.

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TAGS: Light Years | Rude Records

Jessi McKee

Twitter: @jmckeephotos

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