Friday, April 5, 2019

Music Review //
Blessed
"Salt"


https://blessedband.bandcamp.com/album/salt //

Every so often, a band like Blessed will come along and make you turn your head, wondering "Did I really just hear that?"   Somehow this comes out screamy and melodic at the same time, but not in that "screamo" way you'd think of; it seems to flip back and forth like a switch.   It's dark to some extent before it's not and then there is this stabbing feeling before it just switches over to this sound of pleasant rock.   And that's just the first song.

Blessed reminds me of some bands I heard in the early '00's that perhaps are not as well remembered today as I wish they were.   Bands like Eleventeen and Time Spent Driving.   It was a time of a lighter indie rock sound, borderline emo, but yet so intense that it somehow felt heavier than hardcore.   To me, Blessed would've fit in so well back then with that crowd but it wasn't really a scene and these bands never seem to make a scene but rather come out here and there every so often and I just feel fortunate when I'm able to hear them and be a part of it all.

Sometimes this reminds me of The Police, sometimes it feels like math rock.   The guitars are so powerful on here.   It's not something easily defined because of how much sound goes into each song.   There are parts of this which are just dreamy and at times it even takes on this vibe from the 1980's which makes me think of Tears for Fears or Talking Heads.    A song like "Pill", for example, starts with this wild surf like feeling then it turns into this combination of The B-52's and Neon Trees, trading off on the styles.    "Anchor" gets darker and feels more like industrial and the percussion... oh, the percussion.

What I like about these songs is that they are one way but they are also another.   Much like the complexities found within an artist such as Weep Wave, I tend to think of these less as a collection of eight songs but rather eight songs within songs.    It's not just that they don't subscribe to the verse/chorus/verse way of song structure but they have so much more going on.   And at times you think "This could easily be on the radio" and then at other times you think maybe it's doing something the radio wouldn't like. 

Maybe that's what rock music has to become.   Maybe Blessed knows something we don't.   Rather than taking various influences and mixing them together, they sit more side by side, adjacent to each other within the songs.   It's like hearing a song and going "Oh, you know that one guitar part in that one song? Yeah, I really like that" and then taking each of those elements of various songs, artists, styles of rock even and stringing them together to make something so fluid, so accessible and yet still a sound which the world simply might not yet be ready for.

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