The Living Blue
Fire, Blood, Water
Although playing new material, many things remain the same on local band The Living Blue’s third release, Fire, Blood, Water (although the first actually as The Living Blue; their two previous releases have been as The Blackouts). Their success in the
surrounding area, fueled in a large part by their charismatic live act, is captured quite well on the release. This latest album is a fair representation of their sound, attitude and energy that accompanies a Living Blue show.
The songs included on the album are much like the group’s 2004 release as the Blackouts, Living in Blue, which includes guitar hooks that are made of equal parts garage psychedelia and blues-influenced rock, with a driving undercurrent of grumbling, rhythmic bass and bombastic drums. The lead vocals likewise defy apt categorization, with a
distinctive turn of inflection that alternately sneers at you and makes you grin. Although generally lumped with “garage” bands, The Living Blue’s virtuosity makes this a bit of a misnomer. They deliver memorable
songs with singable lyrics that stick with the listener long after groups which have received much more mainstream attention than this group has so far.
The highlights, although this is a relative term, since there are no real low points on Fire, Blood, Water, of these songs include
the friendly, interesting counterpoint which the two
complementary guitar parts interweave throughout. This is heard
especially on the pulsating “Serrated Friend,” which is more
delicate and sensitive on “Greenthumb,” (which also includes an electric organ solo with a Farfisa-like nasal timbre, a delightful foray into other sonic areas not often visited by other similar bands). A crowd favorite from the band’s live show, a powerhouse called “Conquistador,” also translates surprisingly well from stage improvisation to studio release.
And the effervescent-yet-biting sound that plows through the speakers on “Murderous Youth” makes it an instant favorite for anyone who
gets excited about music. The tracks on this album remain fresh,
powerful, invigorating, and energizing, and it grows neither sour nor stale on repeated listenings. I would highly recommend both the album and the band to anybody, but especially to fans and friends of our local scene, punk and straight-ahead rock. Put simply, The Living Blue’s Fire, Blood, Water rocks in the way bands used to and haven’t in a long time. See this band, buy this album. You will not be sorry that you did.