After some minor success coming from a few EPs their first album, This Is Animal Music, Look Mexico took to the studio again a few years later to work on their second full-length, To Bed To Battle. The record moves away from the light math-rock sound that they had on TIAM and changes to more straight forward rock. There are still math-rock tendencies, but the album has a larger variety than on previous releases, ranging from light acoustic tunes to dancy and exciting songs.
The record starts off with the anthemic “You Stay. I Go. No Following”, an epic opener addressing (what appears to be) the music industry or an old manager/producer of some sort. Lines like “Thank you for absolutely nothing” and “Falling through the cracks we are dodging the radio waves/ And thanks to all your promises we’re picking extra shifts up these days” show some sort of betrayal. But regardless of what it is about, the song’s fist pump-inducing beat and sing-along lyrics make this a sure crowd pleaser.
The next track, titled “No Wonder I’m Still Awake”, jumps right onto you after the slower album intro. Fortunately, this upbeat style isn’t lost on only one song. Two tunes in particular, “I Live My Life A Quarter Mile At A Time” and “They Offered Me A Deal (I Said No, Naturally)”, are both happier and more exciting than many others on the record. But of course, being catchy doesn’t always make a song the best on the album. The lighter tune, “Until The Lights Burn Out?”, will relax you, yet when it starts to pick up will make you start to bob your head.
The acoustic “Take It Upstairs”, Einstein begins with light strings but eventually becomes a deeply moving serenade. Another calm peice, “They Only Take The Backroads”, plays better as background music, but still keeps you quietly smiling to yourself. The downfall to the record would have to be how samey it seems at times. The songs tend to blend together somewhat, even after several listens it’s not always clear which song you’re listening to. Then again, too much of a good thing isn’t always bad, but variety is the spice of life.
Light and airy at times, catchy and upbeat at others, To Bed To Battle expands the sound Look Mexico had on previous releases and proves that they definitely have a future ahead of them.