Bloodboy - Punk Adjacent
A few years ago it seemed like California based Bloodboy was the next big thing. Her blend of punk, pop, alternative and indie felt like a great palette cleanser for both the folksy indie stuff that was on it;s way out and the electropop that was firmly making hits. She found this edgy middle ground between it all, where bucking against the system meant relying on simpler melodies and lyrics with much more substance. However a year of album delays left fans wondering if Bloodboy would ever strike the iron. She hits it with some force on this record that feels lively and exuberant. The title Punk Adjacent is a bit of a misdirection, or a lack of understanding as to what Punk Rock is. This album is not punk, nor is it really adjacent, but that doesn't mean it's not particularly good. Songs like "Can't Go Home With You Tonight" is more of a honky tonk slow burner put through a minimal band sound. There is perhaps a very early punk, when it was still trying to find itself and what it meant, vibe going on here with the instrument choices and pacing but that really is about it. The songs mostly just feel like guitar driven pop and while some have this great little punch to them a whole bunch more feel a bit vapid and generic. With a name like Bloodboy and an album title like Punk Adjacent I was ready to be hit over the head with something, but that just never seems to come.
Songs liek "Hard to be Honest" are some of the worst offenders as they seem to have an inability to make a choice. The song doesn't take a position musically and it dilutes all the other stuff she has to say lyrically. That imbalance continues throughout the record, lyrics that feel important and vibrant mixed with pretty basic ass guitars and drums. It's almost like a singer song writer decided to just turn the pace up a couple of notches and actually use that distortion pedal. She just sort of loses the point a few songs in and is never able to recover it. This might go to explain the long delay in getting this album out in the first place. Going back and forth, debating every note can garner some nice results, but usually it just makes for a jumbled mess. You want to harness the spirit, not try to manipulate it into existence. Punk Adjacent is a statement, and one that Bloodboy just can't really defend, much to this records loss.
6.1 out of 10