Southpaw White Lighter Myth Album Review 3/5

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Alizay Rizvi, Social Media Manager

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Seeing Southpaw live was an experience of a lifetime. So when I heard they released their new album, I had to check it out. “White Lighter Myth” is their fourth full album. And its style is something I’ve never heard before.

The first question that popped into my head was why the band chose this name for their album. Turns out, the white lighter myth is actually a thing. Any smoker, whether its herbs, cigarettes or something else, knows the myth. When lighters first came out, they only came in two colors – black or white. White lighters were bad luck. When smokers packed down bowls with their lighters the ash would stick at the bottom. So, when investigated by the police they would be caught.

But that isn’t the greatest mystery behind the white lighter. According to highDEAS, another reason revolves around four famous musicians.  Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Kurt Cobain are some of the most well-known musicians. All four of them were left-handed, and they all died at the age of 27. All four of their autopsies showed they had white Bic Lighters in their pockets. Turns out this is actually a debunked myth according to Snopes. However, this hasn’t stopped the fear regarding White Lighters, and it’s odd that the band chose this as their album name.

Going into the music itself, the entire album is a different from anything I’ve ever heard. The songs overall are rather scattered which gives the entire album a hard-to-listen-to vibe. The first song titled, “Sudden Rush Of Euphoria” is only a minute long. It seems more like an introduction to the album. The jump into “Abstract” starts off with an incredible rush of pure rock. But it is the ending lyrics for the song that sticks out the most: “Thank you everyone for showing up for fun/And doing all the drugs you could ever dream of/All we’ve got in this life feels so borrowed/It seems to me that we’ll be here tomorrow.” The lyrics ring so pure and true. It really pulls you into the reality of how everything we have is on borrowed time. Maybe we’ll be here tomorrow, but maybe not.

“Lately” follows with a beautiful chorus. This was by far my favorite song on the album. It almost made me feel like this was a family song. Much like “Free Now” by Sleeping With Sirens, it echoes that tune of leaving and being free. At the same time, it almost gives off the vibe of how they’re there, somewhere in the back of your mind. This song was just set up in a strange way though. While the beat of the guitar and drums was absolutely amazing, the lyrics were a little off in some parts. While I adored the chorus, the intro, “Lately I’d rather drop a line/my feathers ruffle all the time,” was just so strange because of the way it was set up.

“Caved” is that pure rock song that drags your mind right into that mosh pit mood. The lyrics are a dark reminder of failures and caving under pressure. I found myself relating the idea of becoming a failure. The line, “Now all you do is work to keep afloat now,” was a true description of how so many of us live every day of our lives. The lyrics almost remind me of Fall Out Boy’s “Heaven’s Gate,” regarding the idea of how you won’t get into heaven. In the end, sometimes you can’t handle the pressure, and all your failures just pile up on top of you.

Many of the rest of the songs on the album have a similar sort of vibe to them lyrically. Much of it is about the world tiring you out and the lies of childhood. It reminded me of All Time Low’s “Somewhere In Neverland.” All Time Low’s “say goodbye to the halls and the classes/say hello to a job and the taxes,” is super peppy. In contrast, Southpaw’s “Get a job that you hate after you graduate/Miss your friends have some kids,” is dark. There was also that Mayday Parade-esque that echoed throughout the album. It was as if they took something that sounded much like what Mayday Parade might have written and gave it a more rock tune.

All in all, the band did a good job with this album. My personal pet peeve was its lyrics. Tracks like “Social Behavior” were poorly set up. There is also an odd rhyming scheme to several of the songs. It’s as if they took a poem and put a rocker spin on it. Maybe it’s me, but it just didn’t work. Some of the songs seemed like they would have been better served as a spoken word piece.

While their lyrics were very well written, their execution seemed rather strange. It felt like the band was trying too hard. If the song meant a lot to the vocalist, their voice would draw you in combined with the beat of the music. But for much of this album, they failed in that aspect. While the band’s overall sound was absolutely spot on, the lyrics need work. It’s a good album for mindless rocking out, but I hope to see the band continue to improve as they go.