Blue States - The Soundings

The Soundings is the third album from Blue States, since the release of Man Mountain they have changed somewhat in both line up and musical sounding.
Previously Blue States comprised of solely Andy Dragazis, who enlisted help by means of salaried members 'Chris Carr and Jon Chandler' for whenever live sets were put on. In 2004 both Chris Carr and Jon Chandler joined blue states as full time members and thusly the band went under a serious change of identity.

Now with a full lineup, the past sound which wasn’t too dissimilar to the likes of Air and Lemon Jelly, they now feature stunning vocal and guitar work from Carr and Chandler. Which make Blue States sound more like any of the 1980s alternative indie bands which are so prominent, even today. But also this album strikes as very Pink Floyd inspired too which makes The Soundings a slightly odd mix, which on paper doesn’t seem to add up. But on the record it really does.

The first track on the album, Across the Wire and the second (For a Lifetime) for that matter seem to embrace the new sound in the most profound way, sounding rather like (and it hurts me to make the comparison) Joy Division, but actually pulled off well.
Ten Shades sets the scene for the rest of the album, as it’s the most to sounding like a cross between old and new Blue States with a mix of old style Air like instrumental sections combined with the new style indiesque approach.
From this point the album criss-crosses between the old and the new, with One night on Tulane forming the first of the old style instrumental songs with its elongated guitars and prominent military style drumbeats and Mexican horns which were featured various times in the previous albums. The Last Blast highlights just how well this album flows as it changes from the old style to the new style with an almost seamless transition which goes to show just how well made this album is and how much Andy Dragazis has put into it to make it right. The best instrumental track on the album is probably Output with its melancholic mood throughout but is also hinged with catchiness which only blue states could achieve with such a gloomy track.
Following on from Output is the excellent Final Flight which starts off with some Hammond organ action reminiscent of Pink Floyd and Rick Wright in the UFO era. The next track Alright Today heralds a dark and ominous ‘New York’ feel to it which builds up the final tracks Leaning In and Sad Song which are both instrumental with mixes of both old and new, the combination felt more so in the final track Sad Song over Leaning In but both end the album excellently and leave you wanting more of this new band which have sprung from nowhere that you feel you already know. And of course, you do.

What I can really describe so much is just how the album has a distinct flow to it, one that you rarely see in albums in this genre. Andy Dragazis and co. have seemingly created their own masterpiece, what comes next however is unknown but it’ll be well worth the wait.


Overall

9

out of 10

Last updated: 19/04/2018 10:35:06

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