Managing to strike the perfect balance between pop and punk, Moose Blood have stolen the genre’s limelight this year with the release of their new album Blush. The record contains 10 tracks, all of which use honest lyrical riffs in true pop punk fashion. Blush is a follow up from their 2014 release I’ll Keep You In Mind From Time To Time. The quartet from Canterbury formed in 2012 and have since grown rapidly, allowing them to be part of The Vans Warped tour and just this year signing to Hopeless Records (who have also signed the likes of All Time Low, Sum 41 and New Found Glory). There is a strong melodic base to all of the tracks, setting them apart from many of the other pop punk bands around, whilst clear influences from more hard core punk bands also come through with the use of the energetic guitar and the bitter vibe in front man Eddy’s voice.
The entry track Pastel begins with a very rhythmic guitar section. It’s effortless and includes the use of delay, causing each layer to bounce off of each other and creating the perfect build up for the album’s first track. It really gets listeners excited for what’s to come. Furthermore, Pastel incorporates many stylistic features found in their previous album, allowing old time listeners to feel comfort in the fact that they haven’t swayed too far from their tried and tested roots.
Moving on from this, the next track on the album, Honey, does have a definite switch in atmosphere compared to their previous releases. There is a happier feel to the whole of this album - the pink cover, the optimistic and pretty track names and most importantly, the melodic arrangements. The more downbeat vibe and busy chorus is a great progression from the first track. Honey is probably one of my favourites as it’s instrumentally simple but the way it’s delivered by the band just makes it something special.
The next track Knuckles has a very similar mood to Honey, but here the chorus really shines and is extremely catchy. The raw emotion in Eddy’s voice is more evident here, especially in the bridge section, and immediately makes you empathize with the story being told through the lyrics.
Continuing with the upbeat theme, the track Sulk is positive melodically but lyrically portrays many elements related to pop punk. Even the name of the track is moody and sad. The way Eddy delivers the track is very similar in style to the tracks on their previous album. The element of hope in the melody, along with the downbeat lyrics, makes for a well formed track which perfectly demonstrates Moose Bloods’ unique interpretation of blended pop and punk.
Spring has to be one of the biggest surprises on the album. Different to the usual Moose Blood releases, in my opinion it is the rawest and most real song they have ever produced. The emotion is so strong and undeniable from beginning to end, making it beautifully intimate. This track definitely hits you in all the right places, making it relatable and reflective at times. Its uniqueness makes it one of my all-time Moose Blood favourites.
After the real beauty of Spring, the closing track Freckle seems rather coarse in its placement. The track itself is not too dissimilar to the style of Pastel, making it a pretty safe ending track. It’s rhythmically catchy and I do believe that having the album end on a positive note is the right way to close it.
All in all, after listening to the album back to back it is clear that it has great continuity and flow. However, the lyrics are frequently quite bland and meaningless, but the overall production does make up for this. One positive thing about the style of the lyrics is the way in which it has been put together to seem like a story is being told. It is quite conversational, as if it is a diary entry or he is writing to someone. I find that this personal and relatively casual writing style is somewhat therapeutic to the listener.
The album’s general positive atmosphere definitely rubs off on you. It has the real raw and emotional pop punk lyrics and melodies, yet still manages to smoothly blend this raw emotional vibe into the rather clean production seen across many of the tracks. This album is definitely worth a listen.