Filled with as many decadent acoustic harmonies as it is crushing electric riffage, deeming BLUVNBU’s The Awakening a multidimensional wonder would be quite the appropriate designation indeed. Starting off with the throttling stomp of “Restore” and carrying us through six additionally thrilling songs, Welsh pulls out all the stops to deliver a performance saturated in captivating passion here. His words carry as much weight as any instrumental wallop ever could in “Responsible” while the drums bear most of the physical burden of pushing out one heart-melting groove after another in “Good For Me.” “Evolve” struts around like something out of a rock n’ roll fantasy much in the way “Why” dazzles with its homespun acoustic melodicism. If the blushing rhythm of “One” doesn’t score points with your soul, there’s a solid chance the rhymes of “Listen” will. Long story short, BLUVNBU takes alternative pop/rock to a higher place of spiritual and social contentment in this unstoppably addictive EP, and if you’re having a tough season right now – as too many of us around the country are – it could make all the difference between a bad day and an exciting night.
Guitars tend to dominate the rock universe in most scenarios, and in this sense, The Awakening isn’t that much different from the other electrifying indie fodder out this summer. “One,” “Responsible” and “Good For Me” depend on a textured riff-rocking assault to make their anthemic lyrics more tangible to the audience than your average stadium-shaking poetry would be, but I wouldn’t dismiss them as muscle tracks at all. There isn’t anything in this record, especially with regards to the master mix, that qualifies as inefficient in any way. Nothing’s tight to the extent of making us feel smothered – “Why” is as breathable and airy as an acoustic number as “Evolve” is an electric tune – and I think it’s pretty clear that Matt Welsh wasn’t trying to create something super varnished with The Awakening at any rate. There’s too much emotion in his performance, too much unfiltered kinship with his lyricism, for me to think anything otherwise when listening to the songs he’s offering us in this record.
I wasn’t aware of Matt Welsh’s music, nor the handle BLUVNBU before I came across The Awakening just this week in its pre-release form, but I’m very happy to say that I am now a fan of the EP as well as the man who conceived it. This is a deeply impressive take on what alternative rock can yield when it’s employed in the same fashion its subgenres like emo, pop-punk and even post-wave have been in past decades. Welsh isn’t changing the universe around us with the release of this new record, but if you ask me, he’s setting the bar pretty high for both himself and the Orlando scene he’s occupying at the moment. The underground was in desperate need of a shot of life this season, but thanks to BLUVNBU, we’re getting exactly what we requested in this sophisticated seven-song extended play.
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