I'm always up for new music. Writing at this site allows me the opportunity to discover new music. That being said, I was very receptive to review this self-titled debut by Blind Boris, a melodic rock duo, hailing from the United Kingdom. With frontman Samuel Gough singing and leading in musicals in London's West-End and producer Amir Alam graduating from Berklee College of Music, eventually scoring commercials for Pizza Hut and Renault, the two members of the band are no strangers to the music industry. What makes them so unique is that although they are from across the pond, they both live in Los Angeles, and have a very apparent U.S. flavored brand of rock, citing The Eagles, The Allman Brothers, and Crosby, Stills & Nash as their influences.
That being the case, however, their sound, in my opinion, came across as seemingly forced, predictable, and rather unoriginal. The first track, Rain Song, went from a pleasant intro, to a jarring switch up, and a bridge (of sorts) that proved to be rather anti-climactic. The sound that they were going for seemed obvious, and while the quality of the sound itself was impeccable, it was very tacked together and inorganic. Gough's voice, while a superb and unique tone, sounds out of place on songs such as this, which seem to be the majority of this project. It seemed as if they were aiming for something commercial, factored in their American influences, and tried to come up with a formula that didn't work. In addition, a number of their softer fare, such as A Little While, has a very somber demeanor to start, and hum-drums through the entire song, and while I was waited for some sort of pickup that were in the more driven songs, it didn't.
On the contrary, I found two very shining gems within this disc. From the Deep is a very folk-y, acoustic up-tempo number that seems to fit Gough's voice to a T. Is was extremely pleasant, and while some of the other songs quite honestly had me hovering over the skip button of my CD player, this one had me on repeat for hours. The song has a very Simon and Garfunkel-meets-Cat Stevens feel, with a touch of uniqueness that Gough's voice gives it. I feel that this CD needed more songs like this, as Gough's voice sounds great with a moderate tempo acoustic guitar behind it, and I feel that songs like this really let Alam's apparent knack for vocal production and his ability to balance the sparse track and Gough's voice in the mix. Another choice pick of mine, wasn't given a name on the track list (the track list laid out eleven tracks, while the CD had twelve). It too, was an acoustic guitar-driven number, which strengthens my point about their need to make more of the like. Unlike the other song I enjoyed, it did pick up in a more country rock sort of way, but it felt appropriate. It really feels lived in and aged in the best way, in ways that I wished the rest of the Cd did. This song, unlike some of the other songs on the CD had a change up that was phenomenal, which was followed by a superb guitar solo that I utterly enjoyed. This was one instance that their American influences where apparent, but not forced.
All in all, I really feel that while this solo effort wasn't my favorite listen, I hear extreme potential within the songs I did enjoy. The acoustic fare on the album really makes up for the more rock-charged efforts, which sounded out of place, even though it took up most of the LP. I'm actually anxious to hear a second outing of this band, hoping for more acoustic soundscapes under Gough's silky voice.