Winona, United States
Blunt Blade packs a hell of a lot of sound into his self-titled debut album. It features rocker guitars with ripping drums and baselines that don’t quit, but that’s not all. Blunt Blade shows off his knack for synthetic harmonies, setting us loose in a soundscape that is endlessly diverse and emotionally thick. The sound takes inspiration from a plethora of well-loved genres, creating a punchy rock feeling with tones of Talking Heads and Depeche Mode’s Playing The Angel album. It is a sound that is done beautifully anew and I for one welcome it.
We begin with ‘Tension’ which as the name suggests, builds with a fire of pace and spirit. The vocal harmonies are different and add an ominous quality to the song that rolls with dark synths for a tonal overload of rock-pop bliss. The harmonies continue in this fashion throughout the album and it is a fresh, mature take on vocal styling. With some songs sounding hymn-esque, the album gains an ethereal quality, as if we are listening to dance music for the gods… of rock.
‘The Build’ is a punky, almost emo-sounding song with a focus on brilliant drum playing and timing. The tune exudes humanity and hits heavy in the gut. A great song to drive to, through city night lights whilst pondering existence and moving your head to the beat. Blunt Blades’ focus on delicate songwriting mixed with heavy instrumentals mean that the songs are catchy and can take us to another place. Later in the album, he uses instruments like woodwinds in ‘Coarse Reaction’ and ‘The End’ for emotional hooks. The songs sound very different in their attitude but are uplifted by Blunt Blades' instrumental creativity. Not sticking to the norm allows us to have such gems as ‘Outsider’ which mixes house moves and vibes with rock guitar and shining vocals. Or how about ‘The Sad Clown’, a song that starts as a solemn piano song but explodes into a raunchy guitar-heavy ballad.
Blunt Blade’s debut is complex and endlessly entertaining. These are songs that you can listen to, as every time I pass over a song again I notice something new; a drum stop that adds so much depth or a tom roll that is so smooth I can’t believe it’s not butter. He mixes the hard tones of guitars and synths, which are used to full effect in ‘Destructive Intent’, with clean vocals and harmonies to give us such wonders as ‘Struggling skies’. The songs sound like they could be from different artists on the first listen, but delve deeper and you will sense the masterful blend of tonal styles that makes Blunt Blades’ sound so captivating. I keep coming back to sections of songs just to listen to the multi-part harmonies, the crispy arpeggios that cascade off into the void, adorned with either beefy guitars or glistening bells.
For me, ‘Trapped’ perfectly showcases the sound of Blunt Blade. If I was trying to get someone to listen to the album, which I implore you to, then I would simply play ‘Trapped’ full blast and watch them realise that mixing Rush and Depeche Mode creates a sonic experience that they didn’t know they needed. I can’t get enough of the expansive sounds that collapse into intimate lyrical sections, and those drum fills! Blunt Blade has heaps of talent and you can hear it in every lovingly produced song on this debut album. Listen to it and follow Blunt Blade everywhere because if this is what he’ll be doing, you’ll want to be there for it.