California’s Night Riots are an outfit that can be somewhat difficult to digest when you first approach their dark mesh between rock and alt-pop it can be an adjustment that doesn’t exactly come naturally. Almost like a half way point between The Pet Shop Boys and Imagine Dragons, Night Riots that excel in their own unique, eccentric way.
Eccentricity is the best one-word summary that can be given to the band’s new album Love Gloom – there’s little here that strikes as ordinary or basic, there’s at least a tinge of experimentation linked to everything on the album, making for an interesting listen at the very least.
Night Riots certainly aren’t the first outfit to blend together tech/synth elements with rock music, but there is a sense of originality to them. Largely down to the hooks and eloquent pitch of vocalist Travis Hawley – his style blends well with the sinister sound of the drums throughout the record, creating an atmosphere packed to the brim with ambiance and zest.
Love Gloom is an album of pleasantries, with ‘Fangs, ‘Contagious’ and ‘Don’t Kill The Messenger’ all passing by without causing too much hassle in their tones. This in itself is the main issue for the record though, there’s not a whole lot of the album that forces your attention to one specific element of a song. The choruses are climactic but nothing special, and the techno sounds are interesting but never jaw-dropping. Love Gloom is an album that really struggles to stand out.
Only on ‘Nothing Personal’, ‘All For You’ and ‘Pull Me Down’ in particular are there moments that can catch a gaze and produce a chorus with enough hook and horsepower to make them feel like an emphatic result of brave experimentation. But this doesn’t occur anywhere near enough to make the record a glowing success.
Love Gloom is an album that throws a sound at you that you may not be overly familiar with, but once accustomed to – the spark soon fades, and there is a feeling that once you’ve heard one track you’ve heard them all. Night Riots will most definitely find a market with this record, but despite blending a couple of styles into one overall product – achieving true crossover appeal is going to be challenging.