The Blue Pages - Bear Fight
Release Date: January 20, 2009
Record Label: Walking City Records
You know how there are a few bands that just sound, well, different compared to their contemporaries? There are quite a few in the pop-rock genre (The Audition comes to mind). I can't put my finger on it, but there's just something about The Blue Pages that make them stand out from the hordes of pop-rock bands pining to steal thirteen year old girls' hearts.
Judging from appearances, The Blue Pages unfortunately come across as one of these bands. I know I'm not supposed to be judging them based on their looks, but it always comes to bear on your opinion of the bands and by extension, their albums. They've got their myspace decked out in the multi-colored background, bright font styling, etc -- you know the facets of the look, I don't need to explain them. It's a good thing I didn't stop right there at their myspace and proclaim: "Oy, not another of these bands!" before listening to the music and deciding that they had a sound that could make up for their boyish good looks and obvious preference for bright colors.
Upon closer inspection (of the music), I found that The Blue Pages were cranking out a sound that surpassed that of their peers. The first track that caught my eye, "Loverboy," came right at me with their vocalist's oh-so-smooth tone. The lyrical content reflects the title, with the vocalist singing, "Talk me out of these crazy ideas/ 'Cause I know she's sleeping with ME just in spite of you/ She screams: Loverboy! Loverboy! Use me. Is what she says/ Loverboy! You know, that it's wrong-oh-oh-oh." The thing that really holds their sound together is their vocalist's considerable talent behind the mic. He's got a fairly unique tone, and he can throw out a falsetto-ish thing that completely rocks (such as the capitalized ME in the earlier lyrics). The instrumentation holds itself together well enough, and while it never really takes the spotlight from the vocalist, it manages to support him well, and overall doesn't misstep for the most part. The synth stays fairly low-key, and the band doesn't seem to be playing into any gimmicks, which is a huge compliment to any pop-rock band these days. The five tracks are all fairly solid, and they're all pretty catchy, though "Loverboy" and "There Will Be Blood" do shine above the other three. "There Will Be Blood" even contains a cameo from The Click 5's lead vocalist (remember, "She's just the girl I'm looking for!").
It's never smart to judge something completely based on looks. Sure, you can't help but have it affect your opinion, and though it sometimes proves useful, (for example, any girl wearing a BC13 shirt is probably worth swearing off), there are other times that it can lead you to pass on albums that are particularly enjoyable. This is a pretty great indication of that concept, and if you give Bear Fight a chance, I'm sure you'll see it the same way I do.