Above all, I look for bands to be relatable. Often that means that they need to present themselves in many layers. It’s not easy to represent the complex realities of our lives in a way that feels accessible and realistic. Great Wight (Brooklyn, NY) is a pop punk/emopop band that is a study in dichotomy. They grabbed my attention immediately when I caught their set at a Porkchop Express show at Championship Bar in Trenton, NJ.
Great Wight’s debut album The Suburbs Have Ruined My Life is full of songs with a political message, but the presentation and stage performance is irreverent and facetious. I found myself pumping my fist in agreement, angry about the reproductive rights of women in “The American Way.” I was so riled up by the end that it felt absurd to then watch them goofily practice metal poses between songs, but life is absurd. The world feels absurd right now and, in that way, Great Wight comes across as real and sincere.
Their lyrics have the tone of a serious conversation, but the melodies are playful and whimsical. I found “Germany, 1991” instantly relatable because I grew up in a military family moving every two years. I’m also a sucker for noodley, mathy guitars. Taken on the surface, you could leave it at that and say that it’s specifically appropriate for me, but then I’d miss how the song deals with concepts of family and change and self satisfaction. These kinds of combinations and complications forced me to pay attention because there is a lot going on and I didn’t want to miss it.