I’ll admit Brian Fallon could play the alphabet acoustic and I’d think it was a brilliant expression of heartache and passion worth replaying a dozen times in a row. But this recent performance of “Red Lights,” from his side project creation Molly and the Zombies, is absolutely exemplary of everything he is good at. Like many songwriters, Fallon has a sweet spot of favorite chords. These Gs and Cm9s are his. He has this way of setting scene to emotional wreckage that is classic and real and sad-sad-sad, so fucking sad, lyrically and also performance-wise. The way he says, “burned before” has so many years behind it, the way he lets his voice drift down at the end of the chorus suggests the fragility of honest expression. I love the pace of this little song, and its moment-by-moment perspective, its reminder of taking advantage of the little calms in the constant, claustrophobic pressure of emotional-ridden storms

“In all good faith and sentiment
I can’t believe somehow
that I haven’t died of grief or something.
Since you left this town.

I’m all undecorated cigarettes,
and standard white apartment walls.

At 3 A.M. and 4 A.M.,
it’s impossible to sleep,

I’d do anything to hold you,
and feel you next to me.
But I’m all sore eyes and beasts
at my backdoor, pulling out their claws.

So yes I will take those,
whatever else they give me.
If it stops the nightmares,
it probably won’t kill me.
and if I slow it down I’ll end up on my accusers’ knives,
so I only stop to tell her that I love her at the red lights.

And all in all I’m wrecked you see
From years of piping down
and piping up about the things,
that never mattered anyhow
When you change too much you lose yourself
and some times you just can’t get them back.

And you might be an angel, or devil I don’t know
but if in fact you are now love
Well I’ve been there before.
I’ve fallen on my face
and I’ve been burned so near to death I probably won’t live through it
anyhow.

So yes I will take those
whatever else they give me.
If it stops the nightmares
it probably won’t kill me.

and if I slow it down I’ll end up on my accusers’ knives
so I only stop to tell her that I love her at the red lights.”

~Red Lights 
Molly and the Zombies

(Edit: Once, in a live performance, Fallon tacked on “Pictures of You” to “Ladykiller.” Just serendipitous, when chords & songs mesh perfectly.)