Some alternative rock outfits are more than content with following a trend or whatever concepts their scene is currently celebrating, but in the case of more sophisticated groups like Blueburst, forging ahead on an uncharted path is the only conceivable option when it comes time to make a new record. In the indie sensation’s debut LP, Significance, Blueburst takes the wavy riff rock that defined proto-alternative music to an expanded level of indulgence and, arguably, creates an album that culminates all of their immense talents in nine unapologetically entrancing songs. Led by Marty Willson-Piper’s world-renowned skills on the fretboard, there’s never a doubt that this is their moment, and they aren’t wasting it with a record that doesn’t change the game both for themselves and their scene.
Let’s take a look at “Supernova,” one of the cornerstones of Significance, first. Wedged between the volatile “Senseless” and “Kick My Tires,” “Supernova” sports a subtle rhythm that is just itching to break free in the chorus, but I think that it’s the song’s sparkling percussive track that leaves the biggest crater in the master mix. It follows the bass like a shadow, peering around every corner just as we are, trying to keep up with the strut in the strings.
“Bravado,” “Executioner’s Song” and “Amplify Me” really do sum up the multidimensional identity that Blueburst have created for themselves in this instance and distinguish their strain of alternative rock from similarly stylized mainstream efforts debuting recently. There isn’t any garish percussive bloat, synth-faceted riffing, or mechanical basslines that refute the very notion of thinking outside the box in this record; only experimental melodies executed with superb attention to detail. This is quite the smart rock album, and it’s certainly one that I find far more charming than anything else we’ve heard so far this season.
Nothing about Significance is overstated or decidedly excessive, though “Finito,” “Bravado,” “Come Alive,” and “Kick My Tires” obviously flirt with the grandeur of late 80’s/early 90’s post-punk themes openly. Blueburst doesn’t cheapen their music by trying to recreate the aesthetics of their influences outright in this record, but I do think that it bears a certain conceptual resemblance to certain punk pillars just the same. The music is larger than life, but the melodies and the lyrics that they support are relatable and uncorrupted by the imposing presence of the instrumentation. Blueburst has figured out how to straddle the line between two of rock’s most coveted elements, and that alone is reason to give this record a spin.
One of the more well-rounded albums of October exceeds what I was hoping it would be around every one of its many musical twists and turns, and though I wasn’t extremely familiar with Blueburst’s background before this release, you’d better believe I’ll be keeping them on my radar as time goes by. They’ve discovered a vicious formula that I really can’t wait to hear more of, and with the momentum that they’ve got behind them right now, they’re commanding a lot of respect both at home in the underground and beyond. Overall, this is an indie standard-setter in my opinion.