Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Matt Oliver, Mastered by Sam Patlove
It fucking FEELS like a Friday night. It FEELS like a sleazy and wonderful Saturday night too. It feels like a night when you're reaching into your hind pocket for your wallet and - for once this week - it's filled with green. It's a license to kill, or a license to get killed. It puts an extra bounce in a man's step. It puts a dash of cockiness in his throat and it adds a sinister gleam to the shine of his grin. He's feeling good and he's looking good, strutting around like a rooster. The Bright Light Social Hour is a group of men who turn the lights down low and allow you every opportunity to hoist your brown bottles up in the air in mid-consumption, saluting whatever brought the suds to your palm, whatever was making the night feel as fine as it was feeling. It's a band that makes it inexcusable to feel rotten, to be bummed about anything other than ending the night broke again.
"Shanty," from the Austin group's self-titled debut album is a towering song with implications of .38 Special-ness, old soul jamming and mass sing-alongs. It should be the song that starts the night, a song that's visited again in the middle of the night to give it its second wind and then a third time, during last call, when no one really wants to go home just yet. It feels like things are kicking in hard and they're taking us mudding, so we should get our boots on and we should be ready for anything. The boys sing about needing that "Texas rubdown," something that sounds kinda great, to tell the truth. It sounds dirty and spectacular. It's roadhouse brawling, mixed in with he kind of impressive harmonies that don't come along every day. It's a song that makes you discount all of the junk days you had prior to the one you're living in, here with this particular song. It's a force of nature that puts most other songs to shame.
They do big, soaring songs and they do them so undeniably right. They have the ability to make us completely forget about the Sunday-Thursdays that we have to get through to get to the good days. They make us forget about how we're strapped. They sing on "Young Man Blues," "I said a young man/Ain't got nothin' in the world these days/Cause in the old days/When the young man was a strong man/All the people stepped back when the young man walked by/But you know these days/That old man, he's got all the money/And the young man ain't got nothin' in the world these days." It feels rousing. It makes us care less about the bullshit. We tend to always find the weekend beers affordable and the times complimentary.