Though a little repetitive in places, Moose Blood's second is a fantastic effort from one of Britain's finest up-and-coming rock bands.
I’ll Keep You In Mind, From Time To Time, the excellent debut from Canterbury-based emo rockers Moose Blood, saw them bursting into the scene with a great sound that merged the styles of bands such as Brand New and American Football. With Blush, album number two, the band seeks to continue and refine this to increase their accessibility within the wider reaches of rock fans.
Overall, Blush brings a chilled vibe and a much tighter and polished sound when compared to the more frenetic and untamed sound of their past work. Early tracks like ‘Honey’ and ‘Knuckles’ carry less of an emo edge, particularly in the guitar work, which features less intricate riffs and more chords. Even so, they are still thoroughly enjoyable songs, despite the change in tone and direction leading to some catchy lyrics to appeal to a mass audience. Later on, this is continued through ‘Glow’ and ‘Cheek,’ with the former featuring some fantastic lyrics to go with it (“He was crying / I knew she was lying when she said ‘you’re okay’ / You’re not okay / No, you’re not okay, are you?”).
One slight issue that does arise from this is that each song feels and sounds the same thanks to the little sense of variety within Blush. The best rock bands don’t just produce the same song ten times over and call it an album – they experiment and switch things up from song to song. Moose Blood, despite creating good songs, falters in this department.
Blush‘s second half does feature some moments that break this mould. ‘Sway’ and ‘Shimmer’ are melancholic and downbeat emo cuts much like the highly influential music of American Football, contrasting the rougher approach of I’ll Keep You In Mind, From Time To Time. ‘Shimmer’ in particular starts off very morose before exploding into a searing and soaring guitar solo, ending up surprisingly as one of the stronger and more unique songs on the record, almost coming completely out of nowhere. ‘Freckle,’ its closer, is its most vivacious track and arguably the most similar track to the band’s previous material, providing a real high for the album to close out on.
Overall, Blush sees Moose Blood utilise its fantastic musical abilities, with each member allowed their own moment to shine and exhibit their strong songwriting abilities. Whilst it takes a more radio-friendly turn, the band still retains enough of its emo roots to feel like a fresh presence in this You Me At Six/Deaf Havana ruled era of Brit-rock. Though it does stumble with repetition at times, the lack of bad tracks makes Blush a tremendously enjoyable album.
Blushis out now via Hopeless Records