While clocking in at barely under an hour, the Blusterfields’ II is really
a double album of sorts. Separated into two blocks of songs,
they are two separate entities. The first block of songs are unashamedly
ROCK and roll with elements of the Blusterfields’ pop
sound, but shows the band dipping into other styles, like rockabilly
(Scraptown), sludgy metalism (Beautiful Lies), garage
rock (Bad Penny) and swinging blues-infused pop (Henry’s
Swing Club), slash and burn punk (Not in Denial) and blistering
melodic hard rock for the rest: Apropos of Nothing,
Johnny Paycheck, It’s A Tricky Thing & International.
The second block leans more toward the jangling indie pop the
Blusterfields presented on their first record, 2022’s The Vicious
Afterglow but never strays too far from the rock feel of the first
set. Songs like Tool Belt and Cautionary Tail have some often
oblique lyrical references while tracks like Fear of Depths,
Into The Light and Breakdown are classic pop songs with
more direct themes and soaring earworm melodies. Better
Angels is the Blusterfields’ first foray into ballads and it’s a
sugary confection that is equal parts personal and bombastic.
Pleasure Garden is the other slow-ish song on II but with
deep psychedelic roots and slyly humorous lyrics. Agent 0 was
released as a single in 2022 and a remixed version of this paean
to a superhero/superspy that exists in the Blusterfields Universe.
Apropos of Nothing - Blusterfields rock bombast with some
heavy riffage, a floating chorus and a quirky arrangement. The
title speaks for itself.
Bad Penny - Equal parts janglepop and throaty garage rock, a
song about a coin, or maybe a girl named Penny, or maybe a
coin named Lincoln. Who knows? Really, A little 60’s vibe with
some 90’s college rock and Y2K garage rock.
Not In Denial - 1977 era punk with some ridiculously tight rhythmic
elements. Funny, but mildly menacing lyrics and a guitar
solo that is wah wah pedal-soaked abandon. Original title: Anatomy
of an Argument.
Johnny Paycheck - A barn-burning rock track that shows the
Blusterfields rocking at their most fierce. A song about walking
away from your day job forever.
Beautiful Lies - The Blusterfields are not metal guys... At all.
However, they do a mighty good impression of sludgy doom/
stoner metal here. Based on a riff brought in by Mike Nicholson
that was just an experiment to see if he could write
a metal song, Todd Jones-Jones jumped onto it and laced it
with a catchy pop melody and some anti-metal lyrics about
insecurity and the not-so-secretly fragile male ego, but not his.
Scraptown - There’s a valley in southwestern Virginia where
drinking, fighting and Jesus are the favorite weekend activities.
This is a thrashing slice of psychobilly that hits all the right
notes and still emerges as a pop song somehow.
Henry’s Swing Club - A disturbing little tale of a deviant sex
club Ponzi scheme set to a swinging and shuffling groove with
a mildly disturbing guitar break that outlines the dark seduction
of the tune.
It’s a Tricky Thing - Stomping rock anthem with an insistent riff
and lyrics about the tightrope act that is interpersonal relations
and clashing egos.
International - A rocking anthem that touches on the subject
of those people you once knew and where they are now. A bit
neo-mod like classic tunes by the Jam and the Who with dollops
of psychedelia and fuzz-drenched guitars.
Tool Belt - A soaring melody that is framed with a wall of strummy
guitars and a haunting mellotron. If anyone has an idea
what the lyrics about, feel free to tell the Blusterfields. They
have no idea.
Agent 0 - A superspy. Probably not a very good one, But he’s
all we have standing between us and... the other. Call him on
the white courtesy phone. Leave a message, if the mailbox is
Fear of Depths - Deliberately paced by intense and filled with
longing and pathos. This is the most personal the Blusterfields
get until the next song.
Better Angels - The big ballad. Filled to overflowing with melody
and instrumentation but never cheesy or overwrought. The
Blusterfields get the balance just right on this slow slice of
Into The Light - A song that is light and airy but is propelled
along by a crack outfit of rock musicians that temper the subject
matter with some pushy and inspired playing.
Breakdown - Technology is ever evolving causing people to become
lost even though there are many platforms where they
could be found. This is a song about that. Or not.
Cautionary Tail - A lascivious journey into the psyche of the
protagonist that is peppered with some nice travelogue. The
melody sticks like sushi rice.
Pleasure Garden - A sweeping psychedelic and erotic pastiche
of a Summer of Love radio pop song with an earth Mother seductress.