Even if you haven’t heard of Philadelphia’s Blubird, you’ve probably heard of some of the people that worked on their debut. Kyle Pulley (Thin Lips) recorded and mixed the thing, Keith Abrams (Pine Barons) assisted, and Ian Farmer (Modern Baseball) mastered it. With company like that, you’d expect some high caliber rock music, and the good news is, that’s just what you get. If you already vibe with any of the aformentioned bands or moody indie rock in general, Delusions of Grandeur demands your attention.
The album’s opener, conveniently titled “Intro,” gives you a good sense of the toolbox these guys are working with–chunky drums, lilting melodies, and interplay between distorted and atmospheric guitar. Bandmates Alex Black Bessen, Henry Wolgast, Erez Potok-Holmes and Jack Correll follow it up with “Stand Still,” which cranks up the BPMs while delivering one of the album’s more memorable hooks (“You know we’re at a staaaaaand still!”). Mid tempo is where these guys sound most at home, though, and for most of the rest of Delusions, they stay there. Blubird excels when it slows things down a little bit and really digs into the groove, and standout tracks like “Yahtzee” are proof of that.
Around the halfway point, the album takes a subltly bluesy turn with “Silver Queen” and “Dark Side.” Then, it swings a hard left with the two part “Exit Song” suite. With their patient, sprawling arrangements, atmospheric vocals, and psychedelic textures, they’re some of my favorite tracks of the set, but they almost sound like a completely different band. It makes it all the more jarring when the groovy, Districts-esque leads kick off the closer, but by the time the track reaches its triumphant climax, I feel too damn inspired to care.
Listen to the record below, and get with Blubird on Facebook to find out when they’ll be playing live next.
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