Wednesday, April 20, 2016

A Review of Ü Blue

Hi everyone, Dana here. I apologize for the inactivity of my blog; the weather is getting nicer and nicer every day, and I'm spending as much time outside as possible. My band is also picking back up again as well. Again, I apologize to anyone who has been looking forward to my posts. Well, have no fear; I'm back to writing! In case you missed my last post from February, I reviewed Ashes To Oranges' debut album that was just released last weekend, Inanimate Animal. (They put on an amazing show, by the way.) This time I've got another music review for you guys. Tonight I will be reviewing an EP by funk/jazz post-hardcore band from Long Island,Ü Blue!

Founded in August of 2013, Ü Blue consists of lead vocalist  Sean Ragoobir, bassist Ryan Patterson,  guitarrist  Brett Baehr, guitarrist James Cifuni. and drummer James Ferrara hailing from Long Island, NY. Their influences include, but not limited to, Circa Survive, Dance Gavin Dance, The Fall of Troy, This Town Needs Guns, etc. On March 11th 2016Ü Blue released their debut album, Vishuddha, and I was asked to review it. Let's dive in, shall we?

Track 1: Cobalt and the Boyz Part I (The Boyz Strike Back)

Vishudda begins with a quick guitar riff and then the whole band joins in as Sean belts out some heavy screams. Damn, this is definitely the heaviest track on the whole album. Nothing says "check us out" better than a track that has a wall of sound emanating from the listener's speakers. I'm very impressed with how Sean can go from screaming his lungs out to mellow/clean vocals just a few seconds afterward. If you want to see a visual of this song, kindly check out their music video here!

Track 2: Space Jam

This one starts off soft with a mellow guitar riff; it's almost acoustic. Sean's vocals come in as the drums and the rest of the band comes in. Space Jam completely different from Track 1 since it's much quieter and not as intense with the heavy vocals. Well, the first minute and a half is very mellow. Once we get towards the minute and 50 seconds mark, the song takes a heavy turn.  I can imagine a lot of head banging towards the middle of this song...especially when it's played live. What's good about this track is that there's a variety of sounds here. It's mellow in the beginning, heavy towards the middle, and then mellow towards the end; kind of like a book.

Track 3: Johnny On the Spot

Like the previous track, we've drums accompanying a mellow guitar riff and Sean's soothing vocals. As the song goes on, the melody breaks down with super dirty vocals. About 3 minutes in, the song mellows out to a soothing guitar solo and a really cool bass break complimenting it. The drums rejoin and the tempo picks up. After taking a couple of listens, it's the lyrics spoke to me: moving on from a hardship and letting go from the past. That's a really positive message to send to your listeners; especially if said listener is having a really rough time. The heavy vocals clearly shows raw emotions...obviously a lot of blood, sweat and tears were put into this song.

Track 4: Funk Song

This song starts out completely different from the previous tracks on this EP. The song begins with a wall of sound instead of a few instruments beginning the song and then the rest joins in. The title track definitely speaks for itself, it's got a real funk rhythm instead of that "post-hardcore" sound that I've gotten from the previous three tracks. The bass is definitely noticible in this track as well. Very tight sound here.

Track 5: Matteo and the Bee Men

And so we come to the closing track of Vishuddha. The beginning reminds me of something out of the Deftones album "Koi No Yokan." It's very mellow; almost like a dream sequence. About a minute and 15 minutes in, the tempo and the dynamics kick in as the whole band joins. About 3 minutes and 15 minutes in, we hear a guitar solo that leads into the last verse. The track quiets down for a moment and then picks up as the album comes to an abrupt end.

I've got to say, even though I prefer punk/alternative music to post-hardcore, these guys really do have something going for them. They're really tight musicians who clearly have some really good chemistry going with them. Chemistry is key, ladies and gentlemen. If you and your fellow bandmates are lacking chemistry, that needs to change immediately. If you like what you've read so far, you can hear the EP yourself on their bandcamp  here!
Ü Blue's next show is at the Legion Bar in Brooklyn on Saturday, April 30th around 10pm. Be sure to check them out on  Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, and YouTube. Enjoy the rest of the week, and I'll be back to writing as soon as possible! Thanks for reading!!

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