Living in the Midwest has given me a love/hate relationship with bands like Blisses B. There are certain acts, such as this San Francisco rock outfit, that beckons thoughts of beaches, sunshine, and easygoing waves. All things that are in short supply in the Midwest. But if you are interested in a reprieve from such cold January conditions, then this is your band. They find a way to transport listeners to a different space outside of climate and circumstance. It is a pretty sweet thing and definitely worth a listen.
Classified as “psychedelic”, “folk”, and indie rock, Blisses B plays with a freedom that crushes labels. Their 2014 album “Sea Level Astronomy” is able to travel unhindered across its own sonic landscape. This album is what freedom sounds like. A band with a penchant for restrained but excellent guitar solos; “Figuritive Light” showcases the band’s break from popular music. A surreal blues/funk solo enters in the middle while the song progresses to a completely different guitar groove by the end. The band is not held back by their talent like more pretentious acts, but are able to confidently play to their strengths in an album that is as wonderfully mixed as it is played. Bass, guitar, drums, and vocals all have an equal share in the sound of the album and the times where they let loose and jam, like in the opening of the title track, are some of its brightest spots. “Well Lit Plan” is also a great blend of everything the band does well. If band chemistry could talk, this is what it would sound like.
“Weapons Grade” is a thumping palm tree shaded tune that will make many miss the days of summer. It even has a little bit of reggae influence. This also shows vocals that are unique to the band. While no means similar in sound, the vocals may remind some of Alt-J with some Modest Mouse sensibilities. Overall, I cannot think of a band that closely resembles the sound of Blisses B. If you like bands like Wilco and Blitzen Trapper, then you might be in the general area of where this band lands. “Sea Level Astronomy” is a solid effort from an intriguing band that is sure to win over fans with each listen.
For fans of: humble guitar solos, albums that get better with each listen, Blitzen Trapper, island living, band chemistry, and genre crushing freedom