A few years ago the Sights were one of the great rock & roll hopes, seemingly poised to take their place alongside the White Stripes, Jet and the other so-called garage rockers who had infiltrated the mainstream. After a pair of acclaimed indie records the Detroit band made a puzzling decision (signing to New Line, a subsidiary of a film company with pretty much zero track record in the music industry) and then disappeared without a trace.
Five years after the New Line album, the band has returned with its strongest effort yet. Leader Eddie Bararenk has found the sweet spot in his songwriting, harnessing the melody of British-influenced power pop to the R&B-fueled garage rock of the band’s earliest days with tighter craft than ever before. “Guilty,” “How Do You Sleep?” and “Hello to Everybody” should inspire as many singalongs as air guitar frenzies. Baranek also shows a fine touch with less frenetic pop with the rousing “3 Cheers,” the folky “Maria” and the country rocking ballad “Back to You.” He also shares the wealth, passing the pen and mic to bassist Dave Lawson for the jaunty “Tick Talk Lies” and the C&W-soaked “I Left My Muse,” both excellent additions to the Sights catalog. The band ends the record with the brash pop of “(Nose to the) Grindstone,” a statement of purpose for making music as a living in an industry set up to make that as difficult as possible. It’s a fitting end to an album reminding that industry that talent always prevails.