Illuminated By the Light

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Weird War’s Illuminated by the Light is indeed a weird album, not so much for intrinsic oddity of the music, but for the general strangeness of releasing such a 1970s-sounding record in 2005. The opening track, “Illuminated,” sounds so much like a competent sub-T. Rex early- to mid-’70s British glam outing that you could probably throw it on a ’70s glam rarity compilation without raising many suspicions as to its authenticity. “See About Me,” too, would be at home in the climate of musicians heavily influenced by David Bowie in his Hunky Dory era. Fortunately, Weird War doesn’t stick to that bag throughout this album, though there’s a general debt to early- to mid-’70s arty British feyness. Elsewhere, they get into more modified funk-rock grooves, though with a slightly goofy, laconic delivery and trifling lyrics that indicate there’s a bit of a tongue in the band’s cheek. As a bridge between glam and white funk, the material’s more amusing than inspirational. But perhaps as a consequence of not setting their ambitions too high, the vibe is more unforced than it is on records by many other semi-retro bands with similar influences. ~ Richie Unterberger, Rovi

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