Pink Lightning return with excellent sophomore album 

Pink Lightning seems to be having a lot of fun.

The Detroit band's first album, released in 2012, was titled, Happy To Be Here, and if their latest album, Blue Skies, is any indication, they are still pretty happy to be recording and playing music.

Blue Skies, which is slated for release Dec. 13, is a joy, mostly because you can hear how much fun the band is having while recording it.

But the self-released Blue Skies isn't all smooth sailing. In fact, it starts out pretty rough.

The first track, "There's Always Next Year," begins as an assault on the ears. It's pure auditory barbed wire.

If the first minute of the album scares you away, though, you're missing out. The opening seconds are just the cactus-like exterior. The real milk of the album is inside.

After the first track, Pink Lightning goes on a tear, playing high-tempo, high-energy songs that make you wish you were seeing them perform live (and you should see them perform live, they kick ass on stage).

The band describes itself as a "freakout, and that's about as apt of a term as you will find for this band of rascally misfits.

The album bends genres throughout, but maintains its rock and roll billing. The song "Postcard [Image]" is heavy on guitars, but is slightly reminiscent of a song you might hear in an old Western, if, you know, Rob Zombie directed Westerns.

"The Comic's Relief" is one of the many songs on the record that display singer Chris Butterfield's solid vocal range. He's not Freddie Mercury, but he doesn't need to be. All the songs on album are right in his wheelhouse.

The true gem on Blue Skies, though is a tune called "Scientific Method," a fast-paced jaunt that leaves you wanting more and more of Pink Lightning. —Mike Larson

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