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Brightside - "Two Songs" single review

Pittsburgh's Brightside has been around for a while. I've seen them a few times, though not recently, and I always thought they were pretty good. Originally they had a more pop-punk sound, but their new single (or maybe it's a two song EP), Two Songs, shows how they have grown from those roots.


The cover looks like something you might see in a science classroom in a movie. I like the shapes on the right side, the skull, and the various colors. It's somewhat jarring seeing the more 3D sphere compared with the comic book skull. It seems as if the attempt is to show various basics of art and to say that it revolves around death. I'm reaching a bit, but it isn't a bad cover anyway.

The first of the Two Songs is "Is This Real Life?", a very poppy number with a very dreamy reverb. I can hear the Milky Way above my head, y'know? The vocals sound like Free Pizza, and the musick is not dissimilar to later-era Dinosaur Jr. or a more rock R.E.M. from their early years. I like the line, "let me show you dreamland." After a pause in the song, the beat takes a dance move to an early 2000s sound but reverts back shortly. Then the song ends somewhat abruptly. It's a very catchy song, though, so it's sticking in my head.

The second of the Two Songs is "Speedball". It's one of these songs comparing love and drug addiction. I'm not a huge fan of this, especially this self-sacrifice emo version. I also don't find a lot of this as interesting as the first song, but the guitar has many very cool solos that make up for the rest of the track. It's still a very catchy track, and I had that chorus stuck in my head well after listening to it.

Brightside has produced quite a pop album with a surface-level post-punk sound combined with their pop-punk roots. It sounds like something that could be on the radio right now, surprising for a more rock-based sound. I love the starfield lyrics and the matching reverb that reaches all the way out to space to touch the King of All Cosmos or Saint Seiya. I wonder how Brightside will continue to evolve? Speaking of their sound right now, Two Songs receives a Good.

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