After disappointing albums from the genre standard bearers Nickelback and Daughtry, plus a host of other poor releases from the likes of Saving Abel and Atom Smash it could be argued that 2012 hasn’t been a great year for modern mainstream rock.
After two average releases (2008’s ‘Witness’ and 2010’s ‘Alive In The Fire’), which efficiently blended alternative hard rock roots with unspectacular melody , it hardly seemed that ‘A Different Light’ would buck the trend for either the Charlottesville band or the genre even with Daughtry’s Brian Craddock at the production helm. How wrong can you be?
‘A Different Light’ kills any album this year from the major players stone dead. Cutting guitars blend with melodic hook line and soaring vocals on the seismic opener ‘Fly’ or the compelling title track. Echoes of Stabbing Westward, ‘Liberation Transmission’ era Lost Prophets and Hoobastank (circa ‘The Reason’) can be heard throughout, particularly on the harder edged moments such has ‘Victim’ or the thudding yet melodic ‘When It’s Over’. Aside from the rock radio hits that fill the album there’s massive potential to cross over into the mainstream with the stunning ‘Wait’-arguably the finest modern rock ballad this year-the hypnotic ‘Dreamers’ or the mid-paced ‘Take Another Step’. Not only is ‘A Different Light’ one of the surprises of 2012 it has elevated Under The Flood from one of the mediocrities in the genre to one that can stand shoulder to shoulder with the bands that, let’s be honest, have taken their foot of the gas.