BLUE RIVER – ALBUM REVIEW


Blue River – Life Imitating Art 
Blue River - Life Imitating Art

Release Date: 28th May 2018

There is a steady stream of new music coming out of Cornwall at the moment, but Blue River are the first died-in-the-wool indie band I’ve heard coming out of the region in a very long time. The quartet’s new album ‘Life Imitating Art’ is littered with indie and Britpop reference points which suggest these guys have been studying the genre for a while now and perfecting their take on things. Indeed, opening track ‘Elegance’ bursts in to life with a wall of guitars and vocal harmonies that could come straight out of a Stereophonics playback and immediately you’re sucked in to the Beatles-esque structure and soaring guitars. There’s more of a rock chug to the guitars on ‘How Do You Sleep?’ and the beat has a sloping, Gorrilaz vibe to it while the vocals of front man Perran Nicholls is in the Kasabian area of the indie Venn diagram.

By the time we get to title track ‘Life Imitating Art’ you can tell that Blue River are flush with ideas as the tinkle of ivories is introduced to the indie romp before ‘Friday Night Love Fight’ gets all Ed Sheeran on our asses with the choppy acoustic chords and loose dance beats. I’m not sure if the lyrics on ‘New York’ are ironic or not as the Big Apple seems to have become the city of choice to get engaged in these days and it feels like this song is having some fun on that theme but I could be just getting old and cynical. There’s a Kinks vibe to the acoustic strum of ‘Spring Love’ while ‘Chasing the Scene’ blends the Northern drawl of bands like Cast and Oasis with the uplifting indie-pop melodies of the Killers, all pushed along by a satisfyingly driving drum beat.

Blue River - not Blue
It’s hard to get away from the influences and reference points as they are worn with such honesty and pride but I don’t normally like to draw comparisons so directly if I can help it. The trouble is, when songs like ‘Lose It All’ blend the sounds of the Lightning Seeds and Oasis and ‘We Fall In Love’ uses a Hard-Fi guitar style, it’s hard not to make the connections in your head. My favourite track on the collection, lyrically speaking at least, is ‘Marty McFly’ which bristles and pops with all the promise of a night out and references the greatest film trilogy about a teenager narrowly avoiding having sex with various members of his family.

On the home straight of this 13 track beast, ‘Face of God’ slows things down for some kind of Liam Gallagher meets Rita Ora track which doesn’t fit seamlessly with the rest of the album. However, ‘The Life’ picks things up with a bright, optimistic and perky indie-pop anthem drenched in summer sun and road-trips. Final track ‘Love Songs Forever’ has something of the Verve about the way it builds and grows in stature throughout the course of the song. All in all, this is kind of album that will crop up in people’s collections in 10-15 years and remind them of that great summer they had when they were younger and will sit nicely alongside more established artists on CD shelves and/or Spotify playlists.


Live Dates:

17th May – The Junction, Plymouth w/Echo Chamber + 50 Year Storm
28th May – Album Launch @ Old Bakery Studios, Truro

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