Saturday, December 25, 2010

Turning The Blue Pages

The story this week is one that will have you dancing with your best moves, your worst moves that you think are great, and everything else in between. With a sound that I can only describe as indie dance-pop on an adrenalized cocktail of steroids, The Blue Pages burst through the speakers to my ears and even I, someone not comfortable at all with myself on any dance floor, find myself popping my head and getting into the groove of the songs.
Comprising the tasteful talents of Zac Barnett (lead vocals and guitar), James Adam Shelley (lead guitar), Dave Rublin (bass and keys), and Matt Sanchez (keys and drums), The Blue Pages for me find themselves balanced just right between the techno-pop sound of Owl City and the pop-punk sneer of Eve 6. For The Blue Pages' homebase of Brooklyn, New York, the instrumental execution that these guys clearly pride themselves on throughout their songs is something that the city can rejoice for, and definitely something that they can take a bow for; it's catchy, melodic, and truly one of the best aspects of their music. The melody, however, is compounded by lyrics that are clever and funny and vocals that are clear and lucid enough to provide great choruses and verses to sing along to.
With two EP's released in 2010, The Blue Pages show that they are four guys brimming with talent and are ready to lay down as many tracks as it takes to get them to the top. One thing that sets TBP apart from other dance-pop and powerpop bands is that their songs are unique from one other; they clearly work hard to make each track its own song, and I can't imagine that there are any filler tracks on either EP.
Releasing their most recent EP in July of this year, the Up All Night EP features the hit song "A Little Bit More." Right from the start, I'm drawn in the by key strokes of Rublin and Sanchez before Barnett's voice comes in, distorted and oh-so-addictive. To explain just how catchy this song is, all I can do is call it perfect ear candy. It's got the greatest rhythm, thanks to Sanchez's drums and Rublin's bass notes. Clearly these two musicians are just as proficient on their respective instruments as they are on the key-work that they both share. Barnett, meanwhile, has a voice that seems hypnotic, and his guitar chords, too, are something that deserve a tip of the hat. Shelley seems to be a little more in the background, preferring to drive the song forward with great guitar fretwork than by doing over-the-top pick-slides. Yet as the song zeros in on the final chorus and Barnett's vocals near the pitch that I haven't heard since The Darkness, Shelley's guitar winds up to pack one final punch of melodic heaven before drowning out with the others. Definitely a fantastic track, and one that the Up All Night EP can only benefit from.
Rounding off an EP filled with great tunes and rhythms is the title track, "Up All Night." One thing that immediately sets this song apart from any other is the unique mix of reggae-style beats and electro-pop melodies. Rublin's bass lines are infectious in a funk-ish kind of way, and the keys he and Sanchez lay down lend are catchy and contagious. Barnett's vocals are in a pitch I didn't even know existed, but somehow he makes it work, and while he hopscotches around the funky beats from Rublin's bass, Shelley's guitar trades melodic tricks with the keyboards, back and forth. If the song itself wasn't enough to sell and record label exec or fan that these guys are the real deal, than the music video for "Up All Night" would certainly seal the deal. An all-star track on an EP that's so much more than just one good song, "Up All Night" is a neon sign showing just what these guys are capable of.
I'd love to just keep going and going, because God knows these guys have enough tracks to fill a party playlist to the brim. I don't know what it is that connects The Blue Pages the way they are, but whatever it is, it's something that seems to fuel a collective creativity that results in every song being single-material. Case in point "Slow Down," a synth-heavy track from the Nighthawke EP with a melody and rhythm I could see creeping onto one of the soundtracks for Glee. However these guys make their partnerships work, it's something that spills over into "That 850." If nothing else, this song has a great intro and a verse that would get even the most stiff of people moving. A definite hit and instant Blue Pages classic, "That 850" is easily one of, if not my favorite song of the bunch.
However they market themselves, whether it be as an electro-pop band or a pop-punk band with an electronic twist, The Blue Pages have struck gold again and again with songs like "Up All Night" and "That 850." As long as they keeping pumping out tracks of this caliber, they will have no problem carving out a niche for themselves among the new wave of electronic artists that are starting to grace the alternative scene. The only thing I'm gonna say when these guys are showing everyone else up is, "told ya so."

Sounds Like: Shiny Toy Guns, The Killers, Franz Ferdinand, Kaiser Chiefs

Key Tracks from the Up All Night EP and the Nighthawke EP (respectively): "A Little Bit More," "Up All Night," "Slow Down," "That 850"

Check out The Blue Pages more at: , and

No comments:

Post a Comment

Popular Posts