The Mission - The Brightest Light
For those who drifted away from The Mission after their late 80s heyday, 2007's God Is A Bullet was a pleasingly reminder of Wayne Hussey's way with bombastic, but always melodic, goth lite anthems. Rather than herald a comeback though, Hussey instead put the band on hiatus the following year after a series of live dates that were described as the last the band would ever play. Inevitably, this being the music industry and all, those 'final' dates turned out not to be, and 2012 saw three-quarters of the original line-up tour with The Cult and play Download Festival. The Brightest Light is yet another chapter in a career that now stretches back to 1986 - and shows no sign of ever coming to a close.
If you're going to leave it six years between albums, you best keep hardcore fans on-side and Hussey wisely doesn't mix up the standard Mission format too much, although this has moments of a slightly rockier take - which suits his increasingly weatherbeaten vocals. 'Just Another Pawn In Your Game' has a distinct feel of The Faces and probably features the first appearance of a harmonica on a Mission tune. Lead single 'Sometimes The Brightest Light Comes From The Darkest Place' boasts a nagging guitar lick - testament to Hussey's effortless axemanship - while the poppier 'Born Under A Good Sign' would, in a fairer universe, sit comfortably on a second volume of Eddie Stobart Trucking Songs. As with the last effort The Brightest Light is too long, but it wouldn't be a Mission album without another of Hussey's traffic-stoppingly earnest tunes; this time round he chooses to tackle the Holocaust via bluesy-Americana ('When The Trap Clicks Shut Behind Us') and, well, that's about as much as there is to say on the matter. If the scent of patchouli stirs fading memories, The Brightest Light may just awaken a few more.