Written by Ayesha Agarwal
Pop culture in the late 80s is rarely referenced without a salute to the Brat Pack. The iconic actors comprise an enduring fragment of the decade’s youth culture, their influence stemming from raw portrayals of adolescence. Their characters aren’t cookie-cutter kids who stoically embrace adulthood: they’re hallmarks of teenage angst, insecurity and confusion. More remarkable than the resonance of genuine emotion is the capacity of their films to evoke themes of adolescent nostalgia without inducing melancholic longing. It is this optimistic retrospection which characterizes Blood Sound’s moving debut LP “Nightclub”.
The LP opens with an instrumental track juxtaposing an imposing, awe-inducing synth against snippets of kids laughing and playing, a jumble of nearly incoherent noises that intermingle and combine. They resemble those memories that refuse to erode over time but eventually melt into one another, leaving us with disjointed montages of childhood. The track is a symbolic introduction to the evocative mood that ties the LP together - a metaphor for looking back and reflecting. Its absent or inchoate lyrics underscore Blood Sound’s ability to build a mood instrumentally: the mellowed, post-punk tones periodically taking moments to isolate and project specific elements of the melody.
Nightclub creates a retrospective ambience without inducing despondence, ache, or ambivalence. The melody of each track has an optimism that evokes the same freedom of Bender as he walks off the field at the end of The Breakfast Club, fist thrust into the air in triumphant defiance. The tracks resonate with possibility, revisiting that lack of direction which characterizes adolescence while sidestepping the fear of failure or the anxiety of getting lost.
“I Don’t Want” exemplifies the fear of time that characterizes early love--not wanting the sun to set, that powerful first feeling of complete fascination, the pervading fear that it might suddenly end. “Empty” approaches love from a different angle, reflecting the delusion that accompanies blind love, the loss of independence from loving another person and the resignation of romantic idealization. Blood Sound engages without falling into hopelessness; the result is a complex portrayal of the emotions that tie us all together, without the naïve romanticism that can demean our personal experiences.
Listen to more Blood Sound on their bandcamp