The Boston Phoenix
March 30 - April 6, 2000

[Music Reviews]

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*** The Flashing Lights



Everything you need to know about the Flashing Lights occurs within the first five seconds of the title track, which kicks off this debut project from former Super Friendz frontman Matt Murphy. "Since you've been gone I've been untrue -- hoping you've been untrue too," Murphy confesses as a Rickenbacker guitar blasts brightly into view, toting with it a few licks nicked from the first three or four albums of the Who and the Kinks (not to mention the complete recorded works of the Raspberries). With amphetamine hooks, power-pop heart, and irrepressible charm, the Flashing Lights dig the same kind of crisp snap, crackle, and pop favored by labelmates the Revelers and the band's one-time Canadian tourmates, Sloan. In fact, Murphy writes vivacious, harmony-and-hormone-charged songs that are at least as catchy as those penned by his Halifax pals -- and some that are better. Most of the tunes here are about what you'd expect 'em to be about: girls, school, driving around, and staying young forever. Nearly half have either "day" or "time" in the title. "Where Do the Days Go?" sounds like Eric Carmen back when he was fun. And you can't help wondering how much more perfect "Elevature" would be if it were cranking through a car radio somewhere in 1974. Or the high-school-assembly scene in the next Richard Linklater flick.

-- Jonathan Perry
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