BLISS’s “Local Honey”—New Rhythm, Same Walk
When a band makes such a linear leap forward as BLISS has with “Local Honey,” it’s hard not to appreciate the growth they’ve made as songwriters.
BLISS’s newest three-song release brings to light a rich set of harmonic and rhythmic dynamism almost a world away from their previous full-length release, “Year One.” The different sections change the direction of each song on a dime, a breakaway from their previous bass-heavy “locomotive” sound.
“Antarctica” sees drummer Eric Molloy go from a prideful rock-n-roll gallop to a full-on drum roll, and then to a punk-driven double-time in the truest sense of the phrase. The guitars fill up a wider harmonic space than most of the tunes on “Year One,” expertly blending a wide range of emotions in under three minutes.
The melodic theme of “False Flag” is a sophisticated rolling dissonance that seemingly fills the room with melancholy. But, like on the rest of the EP, the mood changes on a dime, keeping the listener’s attention firmly enraptured on a ride through straight hardcore palm muting. It then kicks into a triumphant chorus teetering between dancy and fist-pump worthy. The song closes by bringing all three sections seemingly together in a compositionally clever way.
“Nowhere to Hide” takes BLISS’s spirit of genre-bending rock to its zenith. From late-90’s hardcore to an onslaught of straight punk, this song makes every second of its under two-minute time frame count as it smashes through a sky-wide melodic theme and ecstatic, hurried drums.
The conceptual growth of BLISS through “Local Honey” is apparent. It’s more spastic, more exciting, and altogether more arresting than previous releases. Though the vocal tracks are at times hard to hear, their added grittiness almost makes them feel just right where they are—it’s not about what exactly the songs are saying, but how you feel listening to them.
Thankfully, the bass-rich mix that made “Year One” such an enjoyable listen is only slightly tuned down for this new release. The drums sound more organic and real, and the band sounds more as if they’re in a room while you sing along. “Local Honey” sounds more realistic, but at the same time is just as head-turning as, well, someone walking down the street in their pajamas, smoking a cigarette. – Al Gentile