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Newest Brit rock band hits the mark

Becca Saunders | Thursday, February 17, 2005

It is not often that a new band debuts with an album that deserves to be a hit. Razorlight’s debut album “Up All Night” accomplishes that feat. The band, formed in 2002, gained a small following in both Great Britain and the United States long before the debut of its album in October 2004 in Great Britain, but is now beginning to receive the acclaim it deserves across the world. The unique sound of Razorlight is hard to describe and perhaps that is precisely because the band members themselves come from such varied backgrounds. With members from Britain, Sweden and the United States, it is no surprise hints of Brit rock, punk rock and even a twist of American oldies permeate the sound throughout “Up All Night.” The sound is unique and refreshing. Many of the songs sound a bit like the Strokes, but Razorlight seems to pull off the energy of the Strokes without trying as hard as the Strokes do to produce a unique sound. All in all, almost every song on the album has the making for a hit and there is simply not much more one can ask from a debut album. Johnny Borrell, who is a self-proclaimed musical genius and the London-born lead singer and guitarist for Razorlight, writes most of the songs. Bjorn Agren is the guitarist and back-up vocalist and hails from a remote farm in Sweden. Agren assisted in writing a handful of the songs on “Up All Night.” Bass and backing vocals are covered by Carl Dalemo, who was a friend of Agren’s and the last original member to join the band. The original drummer for Razorlight, Christian Smith Pancorvo, left the band only two weeks before the band’s major “The Golden Touch Tour,” citing health reasons. Pancorvo was quickly replaced by Andy Burrows, who is the current Razorlight drummer, although Pancorvo did all the drumming on “Up All Night” because the album was finished before Pancorvo quit. In the United Kingdom, “Golden Touch,” “Stumble and Fall” and “Rip It Up” have already become hit singles. However, those songs are not even the best “Up All Night” has to offer. “Golden Touch” is a terrific song about girls getting lost in London, and while it may be a high point in the album, it does not win that title by a large margin. “Leave Me Alone,” “Rock N Roll Lies,” “Vice” and “Stumble and Fall” are all terrific songs. Generally put to a fast beat and driven by pulsating guitars, Razorlight’s songs maintain a terrifically strong energy throughout “Up All Night.” “Rock N Roll Lies” is one of the most unique songs on the album. It nearly sounds like a remixed rock version of a classic oldies song, but the brilliance in that sound is that it is a completely original song created by Razorlight. The song builds up to a strong melodic chorus in which Borrell sings, “And here he comes now, there’s nothing to say / There he goes again, but no one cares anyways / What’s in your eyes / Your rock n’ roll eyes.” The lyrics move fluidly with the melody in a way that even the most experienced musicians often struggle to create.Razorlight cannot be called “the next” anything. The band is entirely unique with a sound all its own. The fusion of different touches of multiple music genres creates a terrific album and a truly spectacular debut.