Review: Abrams ‘Blue City’

You get the feeling with some bands, however hard they try and whatever they produce and put out for our audible pleasure, they never quite get the praise or recognition they should. With the arrival of their fifth studio album Blue City Denver’s Abrams fit that bill perfectly, but something has been stirring in the Rocky Mountains, and it could just explode.

Abrams 'Blue City' Artwork
Abrams ‘Blue City’ Artwork

From the opening guitar intro on Tomorrow you can sense that the four piece have hit the nail on the, fusing melody and dissonance, they traverse musical genres with complete ease and with vocals from Zachary Amster and Taylor Iversen soaring across a palatable musical landscape, they are in full on attack mode. It moves effortlessly into Fire Waltz which has an anthemic feel to it, and although a simple song, its executed to an extremely high standard.

The band have covered lots of styles in their previous albums, from progressive sludge to post hardcore aggression, from mountain heavy rock to shoegaze, yet this feels like everything has come together in one wave to take them forward. The cathartic mix of catchy, driving rhythms and ethereal ambiance finds them producing songs like Etherol and Lungfish making the listener lose themselves in the melancholy.

You then get the guitar melodies kicking in with Wasting Time combined with a more atmospheric and emotional vocal and it has a hint of a post-grunge feel with Amster saying that ‘the songs deal with the feeling of being trapped in a place of comfort and normality’. We get a more angst filled song up next with Death Om filed with an excellent mix of heavy and melody, before Turn If Off feels more reflective and full of atmospheric lusciousness.

Blue City is a metaphor for this cold but familiar place that keeps us imprisoned from any drastically new experience’ explains Amster and with Narc continuing that shoegaze atmospheric feel to the album, you can sense the band breaking out of their comfort zone and exploring new territories, and with Crack Aunt you get that slower, bluesy feel of the band breaking out and announcing their arrival.

It all ends with the title track Blue City, a softer approach with delicate vocals at the beginning before they hit you with a harder edge guitar sound, almost a song saying ‘here we are, come check us out, we are what you need in your life right now’. And in all honesty, they would be right, as this album is pretty amazing from start to finish.

Label: Blues Funeral Recordings
Band Links: Official | Facebook | Bandcamp | Spotify | Instagram

Scribed by: Matthew Williams