Listening to The Light Wires is like stepping into 1993 when Counting Crows put out their best album, “August and Everything After.” I can still feel the effect that “Omaha” had on me 11 years later when I listen to that album. Counting Crows has gone down hill slowly since their debut, so in the realm of crooning folk rock The Light Wires are a godsend. Singer Jeremy Pinnell delivers his longing lyrics through a lump of tears in his throat that no one has mastered since Adam Durst. It’s warm in the way my house felt in Montana after coming in from -13 degrees outside to a heater.
The pain in the songs sounds like it was channeled through Neil Young, filtered through Elliott Smith and then slowly dripped out of Pinnell. Even when Pinnell and company turn on just a smidge of rock, the mellowness under their guitars is always present. In “Belly of the Beast” Pinnell sings about addiction in a way that no one has touched since “Needle and the Damage Done.” On “In a Modest Apartment” the listener feels like he is a living in a basement apartment, alone and missing the only person who ever mattered. This is a strong debut from these Cincinnati folkers and a welcome breath of air reminiscent of the early nineties.