Alibi V.14 No.49 • Dec 8-14, 2005 

Music Magnified

Red Lightning

Red Lightning
Red Lightning

Tuesday, Dec. 13; Atomic Cantina (21-and-over), free: Alain Whyte, Morrissey collaborator and current lead singer and songwriter for Los Angeles/London's Red Lightning, is bringing the stripped-down sound of his new three-piece to the Atomic Cantina. Whyte, who helped create such Morrissey faves as You Are the Query and Your Arsenal, has put together a power trio that draws much of its creative ammunition from bands like The Cult, The Smiths and U2.

With these semi-retro influences in hand, Whyte and Red Lightning have managed to give their sound a more contemporary flair (partially due to the requisite simplicity that a power trio generally demands) which has made their tracks sound more like Radio Head's Pablo Honey than any Morrissey release. Whyte's vocals are a cross between Bono and a pre-sellout Billy Idol. Red Lightning also borrows a few tricks from another U2 member in creating chime-saturated electric guitar melodies that are evocative of the Edge's trademark sound. Red Lightning is headlining a two-week tour in support of their debut release, L.A. Crash Landing, and the show at the Atomic is (as usual) completely free to all patrons.