Joe Mandica + Marty Penrose, “Then the Light Came On” (2015): One Track Mind

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Regular readers of this publication (and that better be you or else your life seriously lacks sunshine) are no doubt familiar with the Initiative.

Ever since the Australian band’s excellent self-titled debut album rolled out of the oven in 2013, videos of the songs have been released to provide additional promotion. And I’m happy to say we’ve been a party to the Initiative’s campaign, as we’re gladly displaying and spreading the good word about all the catchy songs contained within the highly-praised album.

Written by Marty Penrose and Joe Mandica, “Then The Light Came On” is the latest clip produced. If there were no visuals accompanying the song, it would be easy be lured into thinking it was a classic Traveling Wilburys track. The emotional pull of the Marty Penrose’s melodramatic vocals reincarnate Roy Orbison to the ninth degree, while Mandica’s pert and polished singing stands as a dead ringer for those of Jeff Lynne.

Joe Mandica’s fine guitar work snaps, crackles and pops with just the right dosage of rockabilly-infested blues to remind listeners of George Harrison’s celebrated juju. But “Then The Light Came On” is hardly a facsimile of the legends evoked. A crafty arrangement, integrated with original hooks nourish the song with total freshness.

The Initiative are one of the best bands to sail down the stream in a long time, and Joe Mandica and Marty Penrose’s “Then The Light Came On” effectively demonstrates where its interests reside. Pop rock designed to turn your light on!

Beverly Paterson

Beverly Paterson

Beverly Paterson was born the day Ben E. King hit No. 4 with "Stand By Me" -- which is actually one of her favorite songs, especially John Lennon's version. She's contributed to Lance Monthly and Amplifier, and served as Rock Beat International's associate editor. Paterson has also published Inside Out, and Twist & Shake. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.
Beverly Paterson
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