EP Review of Blushface: EP
Formed in Kraków, Poland in 2016, Blushface is comprised of Mateusz Bober, Michał Popiel and Maciek Iwański. The music created by this trio is exceptionally catchy rock and roll, making it a joy to get a chance to listen to this EP over and over while reviewing it. The music is impossible to pigeonhole further, though, because it crosses so many subgenre lines.
“Astral” kicks things off with a brooding, slightly grungy rock vocal, consistent beat, and straight-up rock attitude. A little 3 Doors Down-ish, on the slow side of mid-tempo, vocals a bit more rough-edged and with a clear, very cool accent. And the guitar solo in the latter half of the song is a great mid-tempo blues-based guitar rock segment. Even from the first few seconds, it’s apparent Blushface’s EP is going to be one of the better new albums you’ll discover this month. And it’s actually someone else the vocals remind me of – not exactly 3 Doors Down… or The Fray… or The Calling; I’m sure someone will think of the singer and mention him in the comments, even if the name continues to escape me, but I hear the voice in my mind. Still, that’s a pretty good list of bands whose fans might dig this tune, though you should expect something on the cusp of slow grunge.
“Just Boy and Girl” is up next, and it opens with a cool, catchy rock guitar line before being joined by vocals, adding a dose of ’80s/’90s hard rock insistence to a song that’s a little jangly at times for typical hard rock but sports a crunchy riff that’ll satisfy rock fans while then dancing off into tuneful interludes for sections of the track. Indeed, like much of the album, this song almost feels like Scorpions-lite. In other words, it feels like the softest album you’d find among a collection of hard rock fans’ favorites. And it sounds as if a live performance will carry a bit more weight, too. Like a mid-tempo rock band the quality of whose vocal and axe chops give it serious street cred.
“Fairy Tales” mellows things out a bit, with strumming guitar offsetting the occasional dancing electric riff, the song eventually revealing itself as a lift-your-lighter arena rock ballad, replete with the crunching blues-rock-based guitar solo.
“YOLF” feels a lot like an ’80s guitar rock song. One of the more sparsely-produced ones, but unmistakably hooky ’80s guitar rock. Its totally cool vibe is supported by a driving beat and tunefully insistent vocals.
“Ask Me Twice” closes the disc with a catchy, hooky, lightly instrumented rocker. This one seems like a sing-along tune, supported by a playful guitar line that sometimes seems it would smirk if it could. It carries a lighter feel than the rest of the songs and sets the collection down softly with a smile.
Beginning-to-end, this is a fun five-song collection that could appeal to a broad range of rock fans. As noted, the guitar chops and occasional vocal power should be sufficient to earn a nod from hard rockers, while the hooks and tempo should appeal to pop and pop-rock fans. Indeed, this is a fun EP, and I urge you to give it a listen. Almost from the first spin, it became one of my favorite new discoveries this year; I’m glad the band reached out to me and introduced themselves and their music.