Picnic Lightning formed in 2013 with Thomas Edmond Ketchersid on vocals, guitar, Cole Alvin Watkins on lead vocals and guitar, John Lenox Cope on bass and vocals and Cameron Joseph Navarro on drums and vocals.
Youth Group starts with some lovely dreamy picked guitar and quickly progresses to a full band sound with drums, bass and some extra guitars joining the mix.
We like the slap back delay on the vocal, it works very well and helps the vocals sit perfectly in the mix, giving a crystal clear sound and perfectly discernible lyrics. It feels as though there’s a slight fuzz on the vocal track as well. The lead vocals have a lovely twang and give the song an early 90s rock feel.
Describing themselves as “a rock band whose raw and brooding desert punk is the sound of summer heat and dimly lit clubs.” which gives the perfect description of their sound. There’s a touch of Rolling Stones to the simplicity of the vocal line and a slightly late 80s flowing feel to the guitars.
We like the addition of some very subtle harmony vocals in that all important second verse. These are just enough in the distance not to dominate, but are present enough to make a huge difference and maintain the listeners interest.
We absolutely loved the guitar solo section. The lead line is simple but effective and panned to the left, whilst a tremolo guitar, panned right, helps to add some real excitement to this section. In places throughout the song, we can hear a lovely touch of bright piano.
The song fades out on a long guitar note and we all agreed to hit repeat. This is a song that thoroughly grabbed our attention, and for fans of classic sounding rock and 90s rock, Youth Group is sure to impress.
From a production perspective, we felt that a cut around 80Hz in the bass track would reduce some boominess and give the kick drum a bit more space. The kick could use a boost around 50Hz too. A small boost around 200-250Hz for added warmth and another around 2-2.5kHz for some extra edge and definition. A larger high shelf boost around 7-8kHz would add to the brightness and realness in the track overall.
An exciting song that somehow manages to transport you back in time whilst also feeling fresh and brand new. Picnic Lightning were a new name to us today, but one that we’ll most certainly be looking out for in the future. This is a powerful track.