Comprised of Mike Brandon (guitar and vocals), L.A. Solano (guitar), Alex Q. Amini (bass) and Kevin Harris (organ), New York-based indie rock quartet The Mystery Lights have received attention for an old-timey garage rock/psych rock sound that sounds indebted to early 1960s rock including The Who Sings My Generation-era The Who, The Animals — and fits in comfortably with a contemporary garage and psych rock resurgence that includes Raccoon Fighter, The Black Angels and others. Interestingly enough, because of the attention the New York-based indie rock quartet has received, they have the unique and honorable distinction of being the first rock act to sign with renowned soul label Daptone Records.
Now, earlier this year I wrote about “Too Many Girls,” a lo-fi rock leaning lament consisting of a loose and bluesy guitar riff, howled lyrics, an infectious call-and-response delivered hook and a propulsive rhythm section while lyrically the song’s narrator complains about the enviable situation of being surrounded by a seemingly inescapable and uncontrollable throng of women — but the ironic part of the song is the fact that the song’s narrator can’t quite figure out what exactly he did or how he actually got into that situation in the first place. The B-side single “Too Tough To Bear” was a stormy shuffle that sounded as though it drew from Phosphene Dream-era The Black Angels, complete with a similar emphasis on tight hooks and a palpable sense of danger just underneath the surface.
Daptone Records recently released some gorgeously cinematic, black and white shot footage of The Mystery Lights performing “What Happens When The Devil Turns You Down” as part of their “Live From The House Of Soul” video series. And the song is comprised of layers of guitar chords fed through reverb, an incredibly dexterous guitar solo reminiscent of Robby Krieger’s solo in “Light My Fire,” and propulsive yet subtly jazz-like drumming paired with Brandon’s falsetto singing lyrics about a surreal encounter with the devil.
The band is the middle of a tour throughout August and September that includes two NYC area dates – 8/17 at Baby’s All Right and 9/17 at the Modern Sky Festival. Check out the remaining tour dates below.
8.13 – Columbus, OH @ Ace of Cups
8.14 – Cleveland, OH @ Beachland Tavern
8.15 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Spirit
8.16 – Buffalo, NY @ Mohawk Place
8.17 – Brooklyn, NY @ Baby’s All Right
8.27 – Helsinski, Finland @ Modern Sky Festival
9.17 – New York, NY @ Modern Sky Festival