ALBUM REVIEW: Moose Blood – Blush

Photo Credit: Nicole Busch

Moose Blood are a band who need no introduction. Following on from their 2014 debut album I’ll Keep You In Mind From Time To Time they’ve returned with follow up Blush. Having spent the last two years winning over the hearts of music lovers across the globe with their impeccable live performances, they’ve also somehow managed to create a ten track release of melodic guitar rock with a massive dose of emo thrown in for good measure.

Release opener Pastel sets the tone with an upbeat, melodic guitar driven edge. We love that there’s no slushy laid back starter track, but just a headfirst dive into the fast tempo, fiery stylings of the release. Unleashed to the masses prior to the album’s release, Honey, Knuckles and Sulk follow in the same vein. As a band known for their relatable, sing-along lyrics and bolshy choruses this is a skill they’ve improved on significantly through this release. Catchy, driving rhythmic guitar lines steal the show on this track, bringing together parts of Moose Blood which people fell in love with on IKYIM. Getting under your skin, you’ll find yourself singing along to positive lyrics including ‘This feeling will only get better//This will pass like the weather”.  Whilst Knuckles, with a slower uptake, emphasises on Eddy Brewerton’s vocal ability and an effortlessly emotive connection with the listener is instantly developed, as Sulk brings the indie-rock edge to the release, detouring away from the expected emo-rock sound fans have become accustomed to. There’s a nostalgic edge to this track, raising thoughts within the listener’s mind, getting entwined into the story being told and drifting away into a land of Moose Blood magic.

With the second album comes a certain set of expectations, with the dreaded comparison to the debut album; but Moose Blood have taken the plunge and stepped into new territory, as Glow flaunts a somewhat electronic folk vibe with the opening guitar section. “I remember when you took the boat out and took it too far, took it too far” when mixed with swirling guitar lines equates into a sure fire live fan favourite.  The one problem with this release is that due to similarities within some tracks, you often find them drifting to the back of your mind – as with Cheek. Not necessarily resulting in a bad addition but one, when compared to others, is lacking the spark needed to stand out; however, it does provide one of our favourite guitar sections of the release, melodic and spiralling it’ll get your head in a spin from which you never want to be free.

This little musical wobble is soon forgotten as Sway returns with a mesmerising guitar line, before Brewerton’s rawer vocals are added into the mix. We never thought we’d be saying this but there’s definitely a The 1975 style twang to this track, which isn’t by any means a bad thing. Smashing each and every expectation set of them the quartet has grown into an even stronger unit, taking risks with their sounds that have undoubtedly paid off.

It wouldn’t be a Moose Blood release without a slow ballad and Shimmer fits the bill and steals the show when doing so. The hauntingly simple drum and guitar arrangement packs such emotion that you can’t help but find yourself completely overwhelmed. Lured into a false sense of delicate security, a thrashing rock breakdown comes hitting down on you like a tonne of bricks. Heartbreakingly simple lines including repeated “it’s been a while since I saw you, don’t look the same you taste different too” sends a shiver down the spine, displaying Moose Blood at their all-time finest. Just when we think our emotions can’t be sent into a flutter anymore, Spring comes along. Plucking guitar lines set the stage for an emotive and lyrically dark offering, which is exactly what we get as Brewerton sings of the too familiar feeling of losing someone close to you, reminiscing on memories and the experience of your loss. “The way you died, did it hurt at all?” might be one of the rawest and hard hitting lines we’ve come across on Blush, with the barely noticeable guitars you’re captivated and lost within the powerful lyrics. There’s no messing around here, no sugar coating, just a heart-wrenching track.

After a powerful duo of emotional tracks, Freckle welcomes the return of upbeat guitar-driven sounds, shown significantly in previous material. Ending with one of the biggest choruses on the release, “I’m getting so damn tired of falling out every morning when we talk” is no doubt going to be chanted when it finally gets its live debut. The twisted stop-start guitars cement this as a sure fire party track which will erupt the crowd into a frenzy – and we can’t wait to be there to witness it!

Blush has brought out the best of Moose Blood; from their superb, sincere songwriting abilities to driving drum lines, hooked filled guitar lines and emotive vocals. There’s musical beauty bursting at the seams, reaching out to fans of every genre who just know a great album when they hear one. Moose Blood’s journey really just feels like it’s beginning and we can’t wait to sit back and see where it takes them. Be sure to check out our recent interview with Eddy and Mark from Slam Dunk Midlands here.


Standout Tracks: Freckle, Honey, Shimmer

For Fans Of: Real Friends, Modern Baseball, Knuckle Puck

Written By: Nicola Craig

Nicola Craig
Head of Live with an unwavering love for the seaside, live music and writing about others instead of myself. Twitter: @nicolalalalar