Blurred Vision – Organized Insanity
I first heard Blurred Vision at a London showcase in October, which I wrote about here as part of my “Five Nights in London” series of live reviews. Since then, I’ve been enjoying the band’s CD, Organized Insanity, so much that I feel compelled to write a review of the album, too…
CD Review of Blurred Vision: Organized Insanity
Organized Insanity is an album of brand new, shiny, ’70s-and-early-’80s-style classic rock. You’ll most often hear the comparisons to Pink Floyd, and rightfully so. The band first achieved public recognition with its version of a Pink Floyd classic, with Blurred Vision’s variation entitled “Another Brick in the Wall (Hey Ayatollah, Leave Those Kids Alone!).” So the Pink Floyd influence runs deep. But if you listen closely, you hear an entire generation of rock influence in the band’s music to varying degrees. There’s some Electric Light Orchestra, Moody Blues, The Who, a hint of Boston, a little Beatles, perhaps a hint of The Police, and maybe even some Rush in there.
If you’re searching for deep Pink Floyd influence, look no farther than songs number two and four, “Rollin’ On” and “Long May You Run,” which both share a sonic kinship with “Comfortably Numb.”
By contrast, the meandering tunefulness of “Dear John” reminded me of a subtly catchy Beatles-esque tune. This was before I realized the “John” in the song was John Lennon. How appropriate.
“All I Wanted” seems to weave elements of ELO and Moody Blues into a straightforward rock tune.
From beginning to end, in fact, the album is a tremendous, brand new, shiny classic rock album. The two songs that stand out to me most, however, bookend the disc.
Album-opener “No More War,” in addition to its stylish, rhythmic opening, employs a particularly attention-grabbing bridge and artful use of Martin Luther King speech clips. In the end, you’ll catch yourself walking down the street later singing to yourself “no more war no more war no-more war no more war no more war…” (Stylistically, this reminds me a bit of Living Colour’s use of quotes from Malcolm X, JFK, and FDR in “Cult of Personality” – not bad company at all.)
Closing track “Organized Insanity,” meanwhile, combines a catchy, laid-back, pleasant chorus with sonically dissonant, Pink Floyd-reminiscent, protest-style verses. The song is well-placed, as fitting way to end the disc.
About the Band
Canadian power trio Blurred Vision features Iranian-born brothers Sepp and Sohl Osley on guitar and bass and Ben Riley on drums. The brothers gained attention with a viral YouTube hit and a video produced by Babak Payami for “Another Brick in the Wall (Hey Ayatollah, Leave Those Kids Alone!).” Later, as a band, Blurred Vision recorded Organized Insanity with producer Terry Brown (who you may know best for his work with Rush, but his discography is a bit of a who’s who of great bands), who introduced the brothers to their drummer in order to fill out the trio.
The band is currently assembling its 2016 tour schedule, with the only date confirmed on the website so far its appearance at the Ramblin’ Man Fair in Kent, UK, on July 23rd. Check the band’s website for updates.