Here's what movers and sapiens are saying about the Blusterfields:
On album II The Blusterfields (https://theblusterfields.bandcamp.com/) jam together an impressive array of sonic influences over what amounts to a double album’s worth of material. There’s mid-1960s jangle guitar cropping up here and there contrasting a 1970s boogie rock and roll feel with a hint of 1980s indie poprock, sometimes all in the same song! But if there’s an influence hovering over everything here it’s XTC. “Tool Belt” is channeling Andy Partridge hard. You really get the XTC feel from the vocals on “Fear of Depths” (and what an ace lead guitar tone!). The band even manage to bend the Swindon sound in a 1970s rock guitar direction on “Into the Light.” Not that that’s a problem. Who doesn’t love XTC that reads this blog? And it’s not like Colin and Andy are making much use of it these days. Ok, that out of the way, the album seems to be roughly divided in two, with the first half giving off more 1970s vibes while the latter half bridges the 1960s-meets-1980s indie sound. Check out the great lead guitar opener to “Bad Penny” on what sounds like a Badfinger vamp. Then “Not in Denial,” “Johnny Paycheck,” “Scraptown” and “Henry’s Swing Club” all amp up the 1970s boogie rock sound, with a few Beatlesque touches. Things start to turn with “It’s a Tricky Thing” with its smooth poprock Odds-meets-XTC elan while “International” has got that Beatles Hard Day’s Night album guitar sound. “Agent Zero” sounds like it combines the B52’s with a Dukes of Stratosphere sensibility. I could go on – there’s really so much to like here. If you like smart lyrics and are tired of pining for an XTC reunion, get off the couch and introduce yourself to The Blusterfields. - Dennis Pilion - Pop Rock Record
“Some new bands start with an ace-in-hole, like this North Carolina four. Guitarist/keyboardist Mike Nicholson made six ’60s pysch-pop/’70s-power-pop-infected LPs 2001-2014 in Stratocruiser, and two in Arrow Beach. Indeed, there’s great, rockin’, righteous stuff of that rarity on this debut LP, too, such as the Jigsaw Seen-sounding, clever “January Jones” (using the Mad Men actress’ name for a midwinter crush) and “Zsa Zsa Dinosaur” (teehee), the Teenage Fanclubby “Insomnia” (more wit: “My boss is Hitler’s cousin/My son won’t talk to me”), and a pulsing pop prize, “Too Obvious.” The group invokes XTC on “Happy Planet,” The Sonics on the garage burner “Buzzface,” and a grungier, alt.rock Stooges and Green River on the title track and “A Bigger Gun.” Experience is good: TVA is a sneakily-funny corker.” — Jack Rabid, Big Takeover Magazine
“Let’s talk about the Blusterfields. The album The Vicious Afterglow opens with all the bluster ‘n’ aggro of an arena show, but all in service to a higher pop calling. You’ve got your sway. You’ve got your hooks. You’ve got your volume, and you’ve got your sweet, anthemic-sounding singalong vocals. The Blusterfields do not seem to be lacking in confidence, and their confidence is justified. Let’s talk about the Blusterfields. And let’s say those three little words we need to say: Turn. It. UP.” — Carl Cafarelli, 103.3 WSPJ, Syracuse, NY
“To call The Blusterfields clever and smart is to damn them with faint praise. No band that rocks this hard wants to hear shit like that. Granted, they are clever. And smart. But that’s not what makes them worth listening to. And what about the term “bluster”? Why would you name yourself after a word that means “loud, aggressive, or indignant with little effect”... with LITTLE EFFECT? Come on. These songs are all major effect with absolutely no affect. You non-English majors may want to look that up. So we know these four North Carolina gentlemen with deep roots in power pop, jangle, punk, garage and a dozen other musical touchstones have learned not to take themselves too seriously, hence the name. When you wear your influences on your sleeve like these guys do, they know it makes things more relatable if you’re not too annoyingly earnest about it. Which is not to say The Blusterfields are devoid of seriousness - the eleven cuts on their debut effort have chops, crunch and cynicism to spare.”— Richard Kern, Engagement Media
“The new Blusterfields album, ‘The Vicious Afterglow,’ “starts at 11” and explodes right out of the gate without letting up! Mixing equal parts of the best musical ingredients in an industrial strength blender and making it all their own. This record has more hooks than all of the Bass Pro Shops combined! Turn the volume all the way up and roll the windows all the way down!” — “Boris” Boden - (The Secret Weapon / Woody Radio)
“Everything 70s/80s/90s power-pop is renowned for.” — janglepophub.home.blog
“Very appealing and refreshing. THE BLUSTERFIELDS bring the ROCK to the POP! Not one lame track! This could easily make many top 10 lists for the year!” — www.jamrecords.com
“Are you looking for cliché soaked, heard it all before, borrowed riff ‘power pop’?! Well if so, please look elsewhere as the Blusterfields are anything but!
This is not your father’s power pop, well actually, perhaps it is, which is what makes is such a treat as Dad was pretty cool way back when. The much loved yet much maligned genre of ‘power pop’ has shape shifted over the years and so often lost sight of its intent, to marry the power with the pop. Bands like Raspberries fully delivered on that promise set in motion by the likes of the Who and Nazz.
Through the 1970’s it covered a lot of ground from Badfinger and Blue Ash through Plimsouls, Knack and Beat, but somewhere in the 90’s, it seems, the genre became corrupted to include anything resembling melodic with guitars. No children, ELO are not power pop.
The best of the bands saddled with that label (Cheap Trick comes to mind), are so much more than that label can hold and the same goes for the Blusterfields whose debut album, The Vicious Afterglow, is simply a great rock and roll album. Yes, there are shimmering melodies, driving rhythms and guitars that jangle and crunch, but like any band worth their weight in rock, they never dive head first into the sugar bowl but rather, they adorn the songs with the right amount of sweetness while maintaining the grit.
There are signals along the way that reference the likes of Squeeze, Hoodoo Gurus and even XTC, but those influences are all scrambled together into one bravado omelet. Only the song, ‘Happy Planet’ is truly drenched in its influence, that being XTC. Its also my favorite track on the album, as, once you note the influence, you are so caught up in the song that it’s mom and dad are just part of the story. Elsewhere,’Zasa Zsa Dinosaur’ kicks with a more garage like feel while the title track has a little Blue Oyster Cult action going on, always a good thing in my book.
So what we have here are 11 tracks of well written and well played rock and roll that only shine more with every spin. That’s a rarity in these trouble times. Please welcome the Blusterfields to your ears. You can thank me later.” — Dave Swanson, Vive Le Rock Radio WJCU.org