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Moose Blood - Blush (Album Review)

Monday, 15 August 2016 Written by Huw Baines

Among emo and pop-punk’s rank and file, Moose Blood’s success story stands out. It’s one based on a strong touring ethic and critical regard, but also on the sort of transatlantic appeal that many bands shoot for and miss. ‘Blush’, their second album, doubles down on that formula.

Released by Hopeless, home to genre heroes the Wonder Years, after their first full length, ‘I’ll Keep You In Mind, From Time To Time’, was put out by the similarly influential No Sleep, it forges further bonds with a US scene that this British band so closely resembles.

Moose Blood continue to give voice to anxious, earnest relationship examinations through clipped, hook-heavy rock songs, but ‘Blush’ benefits from an air of confidence built up since the release of their debut.

Honey, for example, dives headlong into power-pop at its chorus thanks to the gallop of Eddy Brewerton and Mark Osborne’s guitars, while Sway retrofits a gobby air of Oasis with a beating heart.

They also haven’t bought the lie that all records of this ilk should be buffed to a glossy shine. Beau Burchell’s production is unfussy and retains a satisfying crunch, foregrounding the clarity of Brewerton’s Simon Neil-via-Canterbury vocals and keeping an eye on the grunge leanings of bands like Citizen.

On repeat visits, though, the album’s legs give out just a little. Melodies that initially appeared as earworms-in-waiting, notably on Knuckles and Glow, fade into the background, while Shimmer’s atmospherics suck much of the momentum out of its second half.

As a result, ‘Blush’ hits the springboard hard but doesn’t stick the landing. At this rate, though, Moose Blood will be around for long enough to put nagging doubts like these to rest.

Moose Blood Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Mon October 03 2016 - BIRMINGHAM O2 Institute2
Tue October 04 2016 - GLASGOW Garage
Wed October 05 2016 - SHEFFIELD O2 Academy2 Sheffield
Thu October 06 2016 - CARDIFF University Y Plas
Fri October 07 2016 - LONDON KOKO
Sat October 08 2016 - MANCHESTER Academy 2

Click here to compare & buy Moose Blood Tickets at Stereoboard.com.

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