Blunderbuss – s/t

Blunderbuss has returned from their hiatus with a loud, sharp self-titled album, but unfortunately not all of it is good. In the first half, the riffs are your standard post-rock hypnotism affair – blaring guitars echo throughout the album, booming around the speakers with poise and authority. Back and forth guitar licks dueling over a steady rock beat and long instrumental sections are the norm, setting the tone for the first, and enjoyable half of the record. “Somewhere On The Way To There” particularly stands out, with an immediately catching riff and clever syncopation in the verse. “Sin Built Stairs” also deserves mention, for its somber, gritty bass line and awesomely obnoxious guitar, which washes out and mutes the vocals. It creates this desperate, weighty angst, and it’s easily the coolest moment on the entire album.

The biggest problem here is how slow and repetitive the last several tracks are. “I Am A Prayer” is clunky and goes nowhere, despite weighing in at a hefty seven minutes. “The Burning Bellhop”, though thankfully a minute shorter and slightly busier, features some grating, nasally vocals that sound off key. The closing track, “Morning Bird” manages to pull the pieces together, sounding like a demo of Radiohead’s “There, There”, but it ends up being the only bright spot on a lackluster B-side.

Though it loses its way toward the second half, Blunderbuss’ self titled effort is worth the listen, if only to hear those fleeting moments where Blunderbuss crafts emotion out of their instruments.