By Ryan Scott
Do you miss the days when Warped Tour still had some bands you liked playing at it? Do you wish My Chemical Romance would hurry up and reunite already? Do you miss Panic! At The Disco being the band that made white people want to dance? Well, Blasterpiece may the answer to your prayers.
Typically when reviewing a “local” artist’s album, the approach may be altered a little because the band is still in a smaller pond and it is hard to not take that into account. Let’s be clear: that is NOT the case with Bear Ghost’s unbelievably exquisite, strange and damn-near-flawless debut full length album Blasterpiece. It deserves to be slobbered over on a national stage. Often times reviewers will either try to sound remotely partial or at least sound clever when shoveling love all over a piece of music. There is no point in hiding it with this album; plain and simple, it is awesome and the only problem it will have is not getting nearly the amount of attention it deserves.
For those that haven’t heard either of the singles, “Necromancin’ Dancin’” or “Funkle Phil,” the band's sound is perplexing, polished, clean, dirty, sloppy, tight and catchy all at once – oh, and don’t you dare forget loud! Their EP Your Parents Are Only Marginally Disappointed In Your Musical Taste gives an idea of what the listener is in for on Blasterpiece, but the band evolved so much in the meantime that the quality jump is a little jarring. If Blasterpiece sounds like anything it would probably take most of its influence from the 2008 album Nightmare Revisited, which was a bunch of pop-punk, alternative and metal bands covering the Nightmare Before Christmas soundtrack front-to-back. Basically, if you put that album in a blender and forced all of the parts that made up the whole to create an original album, I imagine it would sound like Blasterpiece.
The introduction track to the album, appropriately titled “Introduction to Blasterpiece,” starts out as what sounds like could have easily been the opening to a lost Faith No More album from the late 90’s. Anyone who knows Faith No More knows that is a compliment. The song then quickly evolves – or devolves - into a circusy Burtonesque groove and leads straight into a medley of the two aforementioned singles, which are no doubt two of the strongest individual pieces on the album. Other highlights from the album include the oddly eclectic and snappy, but still strange “Paradise” and the groovy rock-your-balls-off-your-dancing-body track “She-Wrecks.” There is a very prominent “YEAH!” that is belted at the end of the song “She-Wrecks,” which pretty much sums up how I and everyone else should feel about this album.
Music has really become a melting pot since the early 2000’s, but one of the last true movements that took place in rock was the pop-punk movement from roughly 2002 to 2006. Bear Ghost is mostly influenced by that: think Panic! At The Disco with Tim Burton as a conductor, but also being able to melt a bunch of other dynamics into their hat full of tricks. It is pop-punk influenced hard rock for the age of the music melting pot.
The album can move from a metal groove to a xylophone, to an almost Beach Boys-esque flow from moment to moment, but it really is pure rock n’ roll at the heart of it and beyond that, it is truly hard to classify. If this review sounds like it is sort of all over the place, that’s because it probably is. It is reflective of Blasterpiece in that way. In short, Bear Ghost is without a doubt one of - if not the most - promising bands in Arizona and Blasterpiece has the opportunity to prove that to the rest of the world through the wonders of excellent, albeit bananas, rock n roll.