The Sights – Left Over Right (HRM Records)

Left Over Right is The Sights’ fifth album since they burst onto the Detroit scene in the late-’90s as teens, and their second since going on hiatus in the back-half of the 2000s. Since returning to action, lead singer and only original member left, Eddie Baranek, has toned down some of the garage rock bashing of their raucous early years, and focused on development as a songwriter and singer (his soulful voice compares favorably with Steve Marriot). Left Over Right is a testament to Baranek’s maturation, with he and The Sights’ current five-man line-up sweetening their songs with Beatles-y touches like harmonies, intricate arrangements and thickly layered instrumentation that makes the most out of Jim Diamond’s production skills. The brilliant garage rock producer (White Stripes, The Ponys, The Dirtbombs…etc.) allows the band go the extra mile, making the studio as big a part of The Sights’ sound as anything else. Everything that the album has to offer comes together magically on lead single “Fool (I Can’t Stop Making Out With You)”, a catchy strut of a song that recalls their early swagger but with horns, organs and harmonica making it a large-scale production. Elsewhere, they make a good case to be this millennium’s Badfinger (minus all the death and depression) on “Bad Man” and “Anything To Anyone”, and figure out a way to add gospel flourishes to high-energy rock on “Not As Pretty”. The only song they fall flat on is “You Are The Sunshine”, a cloying attempt at cutesy ’60s balladry that even The Monkees might have dismissed as too fluffy. Cast that track aside and Left Over Right is the perfect album to give the person in your life who complains that they don’t make bands like they used to anymore.


1. Left Over Right

2. Fool (I Can’t Stop Making Out With You)

3. Prayer

4. Mercy

5. Bad Man

6. Anything To Anyone

7. You Are The Sunshine

8. Not As Pretty

9. Could Not Call It Love

10. Easy Living

The Sights – Most Of What Follows Is True (Alive Records)

In the five years since the The Sights’ last record, they’ve completely retooled their lineup – with singer Eddie Baranek the only holdover – growing from a trio to a four-piece. From the sound of Most Of What Follows Is True they’ve also embraced classic rock, and are trying to preserve it for a new generation. However, don’t let the classic rock tag mislead you. This isn’t music for yuppies trying to relive their youth. This is classic rock for modern people – especially those who like the harder sound of Thin Lizzy, Mott The Hoople and Grand Funk Railroad. Awesome opening track “How Do You Sleep” may sound like it was recorded 35 years ago, but it, along with much of the record, transcends era-trappings. It feels current and it kicks ass. The band wisely re-teamed with old producer Jim Diamond, who is responsible for at least 75% of the best rock records of the past decade (The Dirtbombs, The Ponys, The Whites Stipes…etc), and he doesn’t disappoint here. As with past Sights records, some of the ballads have an “aw shucks” earnestness I can do without, but those cloying moments are a small price to pay for the live-wire jolt of  “Hello To Everbody”, “Take and Take” and “(Nose To The) Grindstone”.

01. How Do You Sleep? – 02:32
02. Hello To Everybody – 02:34
03. Honey – 03:32
04. I Left My Muse – 04:06
05. Guilty – 02:40
06. Maria – 02:56
07. Happy – 02:16
08. Take & Take – 02:47
09. 3 Cheers – 04:13
10. Tick Talk Lies – 03:20
11. Back To You – 03:31
12. Nose To The Grindstone – 03:49