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Red Lights - Red Lights LP

Red Lights - Red Lights LP

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Even with the knowledge I have of Jeffrey Lee Pierce’s pre-Gun Club musical activity I was not prepared for what I’d hear! I knew that a young Pierce was president of the Blondie Fanclub (which blossomed into a beautiful reciprocal relationship), an avid reggae fan and rock writer for Slash, and the enticing presser kinda pitches this as a power pop record but it sits very much on its own wing of that world.

Yep, there’s some teen-friendly hooks but Jeff’s also got some literate lyrics and a kind of punk-friendly art-rock vibe going on here. You could plonk this band on the Cleveland Confidential compilation or Bloodstains Across The Midwest without anyone batting an eyelid, or down in Baton Rouge next to The Zoomers. Heck the first track Jungle Book channels the piano-led punk of Brisbane’s Fun Things!

Kudos to Spacecase Records and In the Red for unearthing this beauty, an archival release that very much deserves to be in the world. Not gonna lie, the fandom of The Gun Club and glorification of JLP’s more self-destructive attributes made it hard to listen to him for a few year but the more pieces of his puzzle that’re revealed, the more I realise he’s definitely a special and complex figure in music. - Nic