After an eleven year hiatus Five Mile Smile are back with a vengeance in their latest tracks, one of them being Touch the Lightning. From Belfast, the duo have been spending the past two years recording songs and finding their new sound. Listing some big-name bands as their influences (The Who, Oasis and U2), their music is about what you’d expect: ripping guitar, hard-hitting vocals and diverse rhythms. Touch the Lightning is an exemplar piece of what the band is capable of.
The track begins with a selection of newsreel snippets spliced together and backed with an echo and guitar. In the guitar riff, you immediately hear the familiar sounds of country blues intwined with rock ‘n’ roll. There were some interesting rhythms used in the chorus, which were emphasised with great skill by the drummer. What I was most impressed with in the song was its structure. Although it started at a high, energetic level the music was brought back to lead up to the guitar solo and then again to emphasise the change of rhythm towards the reprisal of the chorus.
Classic rock wasn’t only on show in the guitar, but also the vocal style. The higher range and less-than pitch perfect melody made the track feel like it was a combination of singing and slam poetry. What was great to hear was an almost false ending. Although the music didn’t stop completely, it was enough of a surprise to keep me on my toes even though I knew the track was almost over. I enjoyed the echo effect on the last few words; it brought the track back full circle to the reverb newsreel used in the beginning.
To be honest, I couldn’t really hear any tidbits that could have been improved. I enjoyed Five Mile Smile’s sound and the guitar riff was an absolute classic. I give the track 9.5/10.
To hear the Touch the Lightning click here