Heavy Lights, the second EP from All The Wine, carries on the hard-edged approach the Chicago-based indie rock trio started on its 2014 release Summer Parade. Lead singer-guitarist Danny Cozzi again creates lyrics that capture the anguish of disintegrating relationships and delivers them via emotionally charged vocals. There’s also a hint of 1980s alt rock in the way Cozzi, drummer Matt Scott, and bassist Danny Stankus craft their revved-up arrangements.
At times, it’s hard to tell if Cozzi intends his arresting imagery to be symbolic or taken literally. The acoustic-based ballad “Older Now” (an effective change of pace from the energetic other three tracks) begins with a guy sitting in an empty parking lot in the small hours of the morning, watching his city burn down. Then he gets a call from an ex-girlfriend at a party who’s hinting that she wants to get back together. On “Steady Ground,” one friend tries to convince the other that they should jump off the “edge of the world” together. Whether this is a suicide pact or a call to embark on a more adventurous career than the typical nine-to-five world is unclear, but the second friend chooses “stability” instead.
“Time And Direction” concerns a relationship scuttled by infidelity; leading the couple to try “reviving something that we lost somewhere out there.” Like the title track, it mostly rocks hard but goes through some intriguing tempo changes as well. Danny Cozzi will be performing stripped-down versions of All The Wine songs at 11:00 PM this Thursday night at The Elbo Room in Chicago.