Heavy as they come but not devoid of a signature melodic charm that is pretty difficult to work into something as metallically menacing, the fretwork in Makes My Blood Dance’s “Power of the Lightside” is, as one would imagine, the main draw in this flamboyant new hard rock tune. In the video for “Power of the Lightside” or in the song by itself, the guitars don’t glide - they crash into one another, demanding a response from anyone who happens to be within reach of the angst-ridden harmonies. Rock isn’t dead in 2020, and if someone told you it was, they clearly weren’t listening to Make My Blood Dance.
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The vocals here are really sharp from start to finish, and through their defined presence in the mix I think they give the lyrics they convey a little more heart than what would have already been present in “Power of the Lightside.” There aren’t a lot of hard rock or metal groups known for their powerful lead singers anymore, but in more ways than one, this is part of the reason why Makes My Blood Dance are such a standout. They’re melodic enough to be called a retro act, but their music is hardly the product of icon-worship alone. There’s definitely a pretty strong stadium rock influence that’s easy for even the most novice of critics to pick up on in “Power of the Lightside,” but all of the indulgence that this invites into the music is rather refreshing beside the minimalist trends of the American rock underground at the moment. Lately it’s felt as though no one had the desire, nor the mere courage, to commit something as large and in charge as this song to master tape, but with the arrival of Makes My Blood Dance in the spotlight, maybe some of their contemporaries will feel inspired to take the leap into positive aural excess.
The video for “Power of the Lightside” is a simple one, dissing conceptualism in favor of sticking with something that exudes raw power and reestablishes what we already could have guessed about these guys - they’re party animals with a penchant for introspection and surreal artistry if given enough time and space for it to develop. This is a group that is in love with the rockstar persona in the best possible way, and if that leads them into more creative writing sessions together, I for one encourage the idea of staying with this present trajectory. Makes My Blood Dance are rockers in an age of electronic harmonies and forced synthetic grooves, and for some of us, they’re exactly what the doctor ordered this summer. Rock n’ roll has been suffering, along with its most loyal fans, for well over a decade and a half now, but instead of picking up another pseudo-Queens of the Stone Age album or something dreadful bearing the Imagine Dragons moniker, I would instead recommend trying out what this group is cutting from deep within the annals of the American indie underground.