ALBUM REVIEW: One Flew West – The Blur

8/10

One Flew West – The Blur

Colorado-based alt-rock/pop-punk/pop-rock outfit releases their debut album, The Blur, an 11-track collection of contagious songs rife with savours of retro alternative and emo pop-punk. Made up of Linden Jackson (vocals, acoustic guitar), Jonah Bartels (drums, vocals), David DiSalvo (guitar, vocals), and Dawson Frye (bass), One Flew West was formed in 2014 and recently signed with Smartpunk Records.

The Blur begins with the title track, opening on low-slung tones with hints of folk-rock and the shifts into a potent pop-rock melody topped by Linden’s melodic voice and glowing harmonies. Entry points include “Semi Kinda Right,” a wonderfully infectious pop-punk tune with Linen’s vocals providing soft, simmering timbres that escalate to delightful pop-punk flavours with the perfect amount of slacker vulnerability.

The intro to “Holes In My Jeans” feature luscious, rounded, rumbling drums flowing into pop-rock textures highlighted by searing guitar accents. Bartels’ drumming on this track is stellar, infusing the rhythm with heavy, alluring, booming yet finessed wallops.

“Sleeping On Me” rolls out on thrumming guitars riding a galvanizing rhythm. An extended guitar gives the harmonics scrumptious inflexions, while guitar-laced breakdowns shift the music’s surging aspects, followed by moussing back up to heavy, driving guitars.

“Make It Right,” one of the outstanding tracks on the album, travels on layered thick guitars supported by Jovian drums and a reverberating bassline. Ebbing and rising, the melody ascends and descend with reckless dynamism, giving the tune swelling residual momentum.

“Deep End” conjures up suggestions of Fall Out Boy and Stroke 9, pushing out galvanizing colours, vicious and visceral. The vocals demonstrate Linden’s knack for phrasing and his range. “Not For Me” slows things down as a gentle acoustic guitar imbues the melody with indulgent hues. Eventually, the song assumes more heft, providing a matrix for Linden’s mounting voice.

The final track, “Trial_Error,” starts on a single guitar, followed by the entry of the drums. Once the melody takes shape, the song mushrooms to heaving guitars. The drum-filled breakdown is a gem. The Blur is excellent, pumping out dark lyrics offset by One Flew West’s burnished pop-punk sound.

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