Mooseblood, since the release of I’ll Keep You In Mind From Time To Time (IKYIM), have grown exponentially in popularity and with good reason too. They’ve captured the hearts of UK fans of the likes of The Front Bottoms, Modern Baseball and Brand New. Flying the flag for the entire UK emo scene isn’t an easy task but it’s significantly easier than trying to make an equally good follow up album. Blush had to be similar enough to IKYIM that it satisfies the brand Moose Blood has set up for it self but far enough from it that it doesn’t feel like a cop out.
Blush does settle between these two mediums happily but not quite perfectly. Whilst the album is a joy to listen to as you’d expect, if it’s put on in the background you’d be easily mistaken for thinking it was IKYIM. The lyrics differ in tone and maturity greatly but if you’re not listening to them the melodies are the same.
Rather aptly the first line of the album is ‘it’s been a few years now’ and the few years since the last album has given them a new outlook on life. Moose Blood appear to be doing a Smiths in reverse; putting their darker melodies over positive lyrics which works well in their favour. Overall there is a summer vibe woven through the album even through as trivial things as song names like Shimmer, Glow and Pastel in contrast to other albums that have had a more winter-y feel to them especially with the album artwork.
Perhaps its this distinct mood change that has made Blush as popular as it is or maybe it’s just the hype that Moose Blood’s cult fans brought that got everyone else excited. In my opinion the band chose the two strongest songs as singles, Knuckles being my favourite from the album as a whole. The melodies are punchy and the vocals are stronger here than in other parts of the album.
Cheek is a nice song, it’s about as upbeat as the guitars get and it just works in the sunshine. This is the kind of song that you want to listen to on a roadtrip with the windows down. The chorus isn’t quite euphoric but it’s got a Front Bottoms sing-along thing about it which is nice as a technique as it gives a sense of nostalgia despite the song being brand new.
All in all Blush is not a bad album, if I did star ratings it would get 3 and a half. I can see this being regarded better in time than it is now but if this is a branch into the unknown then I don’t know what Moose Blood would call safe, I hope this is a stepping stone to bigger songs and a bigger sound as for now it feels like the band are not thinking ahead. Moose Blood’s growing success is undeniable and with that tour demands must be met and these songs simply will not hold up in larger venues as they do in the band’s familiar circuit. While Moose Blood play their familiar circuit I have no doubt that they will go down a storm as they’re four very talented men with a repertoire to satisfy any fan.