Light Repeating, Dance, You’re on Fire’s sophomore album, is lyrical story-telling with a unique musical direction. The Johannesburg-based indie rock group have followed up their successful debut album Secret Chiefs with a musical masterpiece that tells the story of two weeks in the life of frontman Tom Manners. The dark motifs explored through the lyrics are presented maturely through the use of diverse musical styles, ensuring that no two tracks sound the same.

“Light Repeating” opens the album on a heavier note than fans have come to expect from the band. Jethro Vlag sets things in motion with an addictive drum line guaranteed to give even the most frigid of listeners a reason to dance. The rest of the band delivers a performance that shows just how much the band has evolved since Secret Chiefs. This is rock and roll: an impressive guitar solo resulting in an opening track that shows that Light Repeating is bound to be on repeat on many a playlist.

With bands often overlooking the power of a strong bass-riff, “Speak to me” not only shows the positive impact this can have on a track, but also showcases the musical talent of Paul van der Walt on the bass. The bass line is perfectly harmonised with the catchy guitar riffs played by Tom Manners and Adrian Erasmus – it’s one of the lighter-hearted tracks on Light Repeating, confirming why Dance, You’re on Fire walked away with the Best Indie Act award at the 2012 MK Awards.

Light Repeating sees the addition of Jacques du Plessis, of former Wrestlerish glory, on the keyboard. His presence is felt throughout the album but his most notable performances can be heard in “Where Are You” and “Motions”. Both songs rely on haunting piano melodies to deliver the raw emotions of Tom Manners’s lyrics.

The diversity of the album leaves one mesmerised, especially with “Chasing the Sea”, the heaviest song Dance, You’re on Fire has produced to date. This shift might seem out of character for the band, but the powerful lyrics are delivered flawlessly along with the resounding drum and bass lines while the guitars convey what cannot be vocalised: anger has never sounded this great.

Light Repeating shows that bands no longer need to be bound to one genre of music to appeal to crowds. The diversity of the album reflects the effects of love lost, anger, heartbreak and uncertainty. Light Repeating could be seen as a representation of life after love, something we can all identify with.

RATING: 8/10

Image: Jacques Kleynhans


“Speak to me” music video
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