13 Nov 2019
UsernamePassword

Remember Me? | Join | Recover
Click here to sign in via social networking

Blue River Baby - Album Review: Blue River Baby

24 Jul 2019 // A review by Steve Shyu

Blue River Baby are a Wellington band that formed in 2016 and they have since captivated countless live audiences with their blend of classic rock, dub, soul, ska and reggae. Last year, they recorded their very first full-length release with Lee Prebble at Surgery Studios in the windy capital.

The album opens to a placid blend of keyboard, guitars and silken singing, commanding listeners’ attention and holding it. The drums promptly enter with an offbeat shuffle and a reggae bounce, and the lead female vocals take on a blues-pop sound. The song then journeys into a blues rock mood, and out of nowhere, rapped vocals kick in halfway and adds yet another style to the already-eclectic combination of genres. The flowing lyrics throws in a vibrant, urban attitude not normally associated with folk or blues-rock, and it’s a delightful experience.

Rap verses again make an appearance on the second track, Walk of Shame. Like the opening tune, shuffling drumbeats, a hoppy bassline and lively-yet-soulful blues singing takes the centre stage, only this time the guitar distortion is dialed up, and there’s more rhythmic variation of groove between verses and choruses, courtesy of the drums and bass guitar.

By the second and third song, one begins to hear a myriad of different influences, and impressively, the band’s songwriting is varied not just from tune to tune, but even within a song. To illustrate, a track particularly worthy of note is Closer, which begins as a slow-jam but gradually morphs to an emotive and moving dance. The first half reminds one of Lionel Richie at his most bitter-sweet, as though written for a montage in a coming-of-age film. The song changes gears at the last third, and breaks into a smile-inducing reggae groove, then properly capping off the rolling tune with drums in double-time, backing vocals and a saxophone adding to the dramatic swells, all supporting the highlight of the track- The brilliantly-soulful lead singing.

Also worth noting is the wacky Vigilante Panda, whose quirky lyrics literally describe a crime-fighting panda, provided by uplifting, bold, male vocals over a reggae beat, and the comical feel is further amplified by the keyboards. Kinda like Hong Kong Phooey of the modern day.

Nearing the end of the fifth track, Crazy Town, there’s a guitar solo heavy on effects, particularly the wah pedal, and when matched with the deep-grooved basslines, it sounded very much like the now-defunct Kiwi group Weta; I reckon Aaron Tokona would be proud!

This is an album filled with great compositions, drawing inspiration from a multitude of musical genres, creating a sensual, emotive, dynamic and fun listening experience. The best example of this is on their newest single Black Yard Town, located at the album’s end; the range of styles is most abundant, beginning with a slow laid-back intro, cruising between blues-rock and ska, descending into a slow saxophone solo, rising back into an epic reggae-rock conclusion.

Though the blues-rock and reggae vibes are prominent, but Blue River Baby don’t restrict themselves to labels, instead making full use of alt-rock guitars, jazz drumming, hip-hop lyrics, 70’s pop aesthetic and more.

This has been an impressive listen, and no doubt live performances of these songs will be even more so. Be sure to keep an ear open for Blue River Baby as they tour Aotearoa!

Blue River Baby’s self-titled debut album will be out 26th July. Check it out on Spotify and purchase it from Bandcamp.
Rating: ( 4 / 5 )
 

About Blue River Baby

Blue River Baby Band (BRBB) are a charting NZ rocking psychedelic soul and funk blues rock band from Wellington New Zealand. A hard working Six-piece outfit made up of killer NZ talent, their original music invites us to find conscience loving connections with each other and our surroundings.

The Band who came together in 2016 in Wellington, were drawn together for their combined love of making music to move and connect people. The result that has captivated audiences at their shows, is a powerful infusion of vintage rock with elements of blues, funk dub, soul, ska and reggae.

With an organic, rocking sound that has been storming stages and filling rooms over the past few years. Blue River Baby Band pull together an epic group of groove monsters and deliver a unique, addictive sound with brilliant results. BRBB are ‘Dianna Ross’ like Ivy Padilla (Panda) Lead vocals, Cam Crawford Keys and vocals, Jason Hotton Drums, Dave Bamford Bass, Matt Fitzpatrick Guitar, John Gaulter Sax and woodwind.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Blue River Baby

Releases

There are no releases to display for Blue River Baby.

Other Reviews By Steve Shyu

Written by Wolves - Album Review: Secrets
07 Nov 2019 // by Steve Shyu
It’s no secret. Written by Wolves have been hard at work for the past two years on their debut, full-length album.
Read More...
TOOMS - Single Review: Greatest Hits
23 Oct 2019 // by Steve Shyu
The enigmatic two-piece Auckland act TOOMS have been busy. They’ve performed at festivals such as Loserpolooza, Hataitai Homewrecker, and opened for international groups Bench Press and Propagandhi.
Read More...
Ginzu and the Steak Knives - Album Review: Kavanak
19 Oct 2019 // by Steve Shyu
Ginzu and the Steak Knives are an Auckland three-piece act that proudly describe their music simply as "Loud And Disgusting". With a handful of EP's and singles under their belts, the band finally got round to carving out a hefty chunk of their latest work, being their debut full-length album, titled Kavanak.
Read More...
Kaosis - Album Review: Hitech - Lowlife
15 Oct 2019 // by Steve Shyu
Kaosis is Hamilton's first and only face-painted, mask-wearing industrial dubstep metal band. And they sport that badge with pride.
Read More...
Album Review: Channeled
24 Sep 2019 // by Steve Shyu
Ben Ruegg, a fellow contributor to Muzic.net.
Read More...
Bianca Isabel - Single Review: Hypocrite
29 Aug 2019 // by Steve Shyu
Wellingtonian teen singer-songwriter Bianca Isabel has been creating her own music since she was just twelve. In recent months, she has recorded and released a small handful of original material, turning heads in local indie/alternative pop circles.
Read More...
Shepherds Reign - Single Review: Legend
14 Aug 2019 // by Steve Shyu
Shepherds Reign originated in South Auckland, combining essences of classic and contemporary metal with Polynesian influences. Arguably the best-known Pasifika metal band on our side of the globe, this rising name has not stopped recording music and wowing audiences with live performances with their signature sound since starting in 2016.
Read More...
The Hopkinsville Goblins - Album Review: Pink Orange
10 Jul 2019 // by Steve Shyu
The elusive and cryptic Hopkinsville Goblins have reportedly been in existence for nearly five years, yet not too terribly much is known about this mythical little group. Lead by principal songwriter Alvin Impulsive, the Goblins (plus Alvin) have moved on to their third full-album release in about as many years.
Read More...
View All Articles By Steve Shyu

NZ Top 10 Singles

  • DANCE MONKEY
    Tones And I
  • ROXANNE
    Arizona Zervas
  • CIRCLES
    Post Malone
  • MEMORIES
    Maroon 5
  • CATCHING FEELINGS
    DRAX Project feat. Six60
  • HOT GIRL BUMMER
    blackbear
  • LOSE YOU TO LOVE ME
    Selena Gomez
  • DON'T START NOW
    Dua Lipa
  • HIGHEST IN THE ROOM
    Travis Scott
  • GOOD AS HELL (REMIX)
    Lizzo feat. Ariana Grande
View the Full NZ Top 40...
muzic.net.nz Logo
100% New Zealand Music
All content on this website is copyright to muzic.net.nz and other respective rights holders. Redistribution of any material presented here without permission is prohibited.
Report a ProblemReport A Problem