2019 has witnessed the birth of Beau Lightning, the alter ego of Adelaide singer-songwriter, Eli Georgeson.
From learning music at the age of eight, to partnering with bands in his teens, this marks the first time Eli has gone solo. The result: a distorted form of rock and roll. What makes this EP so fantastic is its strong adherence to what made rock such a pivotal artform: it’s pure old school fundamentals and style.
Kicking off with the track ‘Smoke in Your Lungs’, Beau brings pulsing drums and walls of warped guitars, something that wouldn’t feel out of place on an Arctic Monkeys record. The lyrics detail the end of a relationship, how he doesn’t know what to do with himself, and how his significant other will probably find someone better than him. It’s this catalyst that leads to the birth of the eponymous alter ego, and is reflected in the warped, distorted production.
‘Last Night’ continues that warped feeling, with a chugging beat and off-kilter chords that sounds like Beau is hungover from a night out drinking, questioning if he found a monster in his bed or if he is dreaming. The track, musically, feels like the eponymous character is going through the motions, because in his hungover state, that is all he can manage.
‘Don’t Get Bit’ picks up the energy of the EP quite a bit. It is a rollicking tune, pulled straight out of the Seventies playbook. However, Beau really comes into his own on ‘Rock’n’Roll Life’, with a croaky delivery about wanting to embrace a hyper aggressive personality, like an out-of-control rock and roll star smashing up the stage. The themes are matched with a nocturnal feel to the production, and guitar chords that feel cold as ice.
Finally, the closer ‘In My Hands’ brings things to an unsettling, quiet conclusion, with Beau in his final form. He repeats the mantra of “having your live in my hands”, as colour guitar plays in the background. Slow dense percussion introduces, before finally exploding with electric guitar and Beau screaming into oblivion. It is as though he has come full circle and looks ready to make the same mistakes all over again that was responsible for this transformation.
This is a nuanced, dense and unsettling EP, but one that nails its rock sensibilities and fundamentals so well. Beau Lightning has brought a vivid form of rock to life, that wears it’s influences on its sleeve. A compelling listen.