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Blunderbusst – Monarch of the Mountain Review

Surfgaze rock?

Back after a five-year break, shoegaze rock trio Blunderbusst return with a brand new EP. It’s an excellent slice of rock that more often than not has a boppy sway to their beat.

‘James Alex Chilton’ opens the EP excellently with a big anthem. It takes pride in switching up the tempo and style of the beat throughout the track, starting quite standardly in 4/4 before letting it say in and out of time. That imbues the music with a sense of fire and rage as it bends through its rising chord chorus hook. The following title track enjoys a laid back verse before indulging in a luxury shoegazing chorus. ‘Two to Grow Small’ instead plays with chopped up acoustic guitar, warped dual mumble vocals and both feel like they are being reversed or tape warped throughout. I’m not sure if they are but the track has a creepy feel whilst jamming a speedy Americana riff.

Blunderbusst

Blunderbusst site influences like Sonic Youth, Swervedriver and Aimee Man and the distillation of these artists emerge throughout each song. The more angrier side on the first half is prominent, whilst the second half is darker and sparser in tone. The thick whammy twang and open chord strokes of ‘Wicked’ sound like a harsh desert. Added to the effect of the sparse and echoing arrangement is a white noise bender effect that feels like evil tumbleweed is attacking a radio. It continues to show the diversity of the band which develops further with the punky ‘You Get One’. It’s short, sweet, skittish and belongs on college radio as the perfect palette cleanser. The EP closes with the superb ‘In Plain Sight’ which channels a lot of Emma Ruth Rundle in her quieter phases. It is rich with atmosphere and the vocals are sublime and untouched.

What struck me most with Blunderbusst is how at ease they are with the widespread of rock they create and how seamlessly it comes together. Yes, there is a narrative and a thread of tone throughout but going from shoegaze angst to mumble rock to sparse desert Americana over six tracks coherently is impressive. Let’s hope it is not another 5 years for the next release and we don’t go Blunderbusst waiting (sorry not sorry).

Recommended track: In Plain Sight

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Blunderbusst - Monarch of the Mountain

8.5

8.5/10

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