REVIEW: Sad Blood – “Legion Of Gloom”

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Hey, remember when I wrote about Sad Blood back in November? No? Well, here is a refresher. I ended the review being kind of a snarky and saying:

“Will Sad Blood be another one of those one-and-done bands that flooded my inbox a few years ago? I hope not. I’d like to hear a lot more from them, because Ultimate Worrier is a hell of an introduction.”

Past me can stop worrying though. There is a new EP from Sad Blood. I would have talked about it back in May, but I’m the worst. Anyway. It’s really good. Legion Of Gloom is the logical next step after Ultimate Worrier. It’s still a Doomsday Device of emo music loaded with pop hooks. There is still a lot of Dowsing and Pet Symmetry going on here, but Sad Blood are making it theirs. They sound more comfortable and have really found their feet.

If anything, the music has gotten more on the power pop side of things. It’s actually very interesting to see the band start making those moves. There is almost a dissonance between how the music sounds and what the lyrics are. The music has only gotten poppier and more melodic. The lyrics remain ever in bummer territory. I like that kind of thing though, so it definitely works for me. They add lighthearted humor behind it though. It certainly helps when they are talking about feeling nothing.

Also, the handclap gimmick on “Ten More Years” is my favorite thing.

Sad Blood
Bandcamp / Buy It

 

 

 

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REVIEW: Stellar Young – "Everything At Once"

Despite the proliferation of DIY music production tools, it is still very rare to hear an unsigned band put out a “professional” sounding album. A lot of bands go crazy with the production aspects. Either things get mixed too glossy, or they don’t utilize the tools enough. That is the first thing that struck me about Stellar Young. Everything At Once sounds great. They clearly cared enough about the resulting album to get shit done right.

Everything At Once is a shiny little indie rock record. The thing is filled to the brim with hooks. The band certainly has the chops to produce great songs. The album opens with “Playing With Guns,” which is a great example of what to expect. Catchy indie rock informed by power pop. Follow up songs “Restless” and “The Universe Is A Bully” are more of the same. A little faster, but just furthering the feel. These songs feature great interplay between the guitars.

Musically, this album is really strong. The two guitars and keyboard play off each other very well. There is definitely a lot going on, but nothing becomes super overpowering. The vocals (lead and background) are the real show. The vocal interplay on the (kind of) dancey “We Own Nothing” are probably the best example of this. Everyone is playing their part to a T.

Overall, I don’t have many complaints about this record. It might be a little long? The shortest song, “As You Go,” is just this side of four minutes. The songs are certainly good, but the end product feels a bit too much for me. A 10 song record coming in at 46 minutes is a little much (for this type of thing). Granted, I don’t listen to this kind of thing with much frequency. This is a minor quibble. If you want to listen to some well made indie rock that is heavy on the pop side of things, there is little reason not to give this a go. It is an enjoyable record that will probably put you in a good mood.

Stellar Young
BandCamp (Purchase digital or physical)

REVIEW: You, Me, And Everyone We Know – "Things Are Really Weird Right Now"

Well, we can throw this band on the list of bands that broke up this year. This EP is a pretty good way to go out. Prior to starting this review, I should note that I am reviewing the 7″ version. Seems that it is not the same track order as on the other formats. So, you know, that is kind of goofy. But, anyway.

You, Me, And Everyone We Know played some pretty solid pop music. As such, there is a bit of dissonance between lyrical content and musical style. We have three songs of rather sunny sounding music, but some rather bummer lyrics. Really, that is a perfect way for a record called Things Are Really Weird Right Now to be.
The titular song is the great, stand out cut on this record. The vocals are great, the keyboard line is fantastic, and the guitars are nice and sunny in a pretty awesome, British invasion type way. The song has the type of lyrics that would be great to sing along with when you’re having a shitty day.
“Now you might wonder where that leaves me
I’m not complaining, just beginning to see
I never really learned just how to aspire
mostly self deprecate, detach, and retire”

The other two songs follow a similar style. “Sad Bastard Music” being a songs that more than lives up to it’s title. “There Was A Thump, Then Another” is a great closer. There is one beef I have with the latter song. In the chorus, some words get emphasized in a weird kind of way. But, minor quibble aside, both songs are just as strong as the titular track.
Overall, this is a great EP. A good swan song. Musically, this is a solid guitar pop record. It follows the lineage of great British invasion pop records. It has a throwback kind of sound in the same kind of way as Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin. Really, you can’t go wrong with that.