Dawn Lights is a collaboration between one multi-instrumentalist (Dean Johnson) one vocalist/lyricist (Eric Hess) who bring layered melodies with a heavy edge and driving beat to the musical table. The new album Exaggerate the Distance is the second act in this musical adventure that is available to any listener out there who chooses to have the experience. It’s a solid rock album that many people probably don’t know about, because Johnson and Hess create for the love of the art.
This is the latest effort from the two-piece act from Cleveland, OH, a full length album full of heavy rock tunes, sometimes moody, sometimes soaring, but always centered on melody with a harder rock edge. In many ways, the album is a continuation of the previous effort from the band, My Will Alone.
According to Hess and Johnson, writing for the second album commenced almost immediately after work was completed on the first, a fact that is evident in the sound of this album. Many of the tracks like “Chameleon”, “Giants”, and “Urgency” bring the same sort of frantic energy as some of the previous album’s stand-out songs. In addition, some of the more low-key songs like “Getting Lost” and “Exaggerate the Distance” tap into and expand some of the moodier moments from My Will Alone.
Despite the existence of familiar elements, Exaggerate the Distance is not simply a continuation – the familiar feel is accented by new additions. Notably, it is interesting to hear how the addition of piano can add another enjoyable element to either a heavy or lighter song. The mellow “Getting Lost” as well as the uptempo “Sirens” each benefit from that extra addition, augmenting the sound, providing an extra bit of contrast between the heavy and the light moments.
In all, Dawn Lights are a fantastic musical adventure that should not be avoided by any contemporary hard rock or alternative metal fan today.
Dawn Lights – Exaggerate the Distance
2. At the End
3. Dead Destiny
5. Getting Lost
7. Spaces Remaining
8. Exaggerate the Distance
9. Make Your Move
11. Before I Fall Apart
Gene’s Favorite Tracks from Exaggerate the Distance
3. Getting Lost