Bluebottle Kiss - Come Across
Wow! There's really not much more I can say about this one.
I didn't know what to expect when I received this disc. I was contacted by In Music We Trust (a great label!) about this band and in their marketing materials they mentioned that Bluebottle Kiss was highly regarded in Australia (their homeland) but virtually unknown here. They then went on to list some bands that mentioned Bluebottle Kiss as an influence. Name any band from Australia to hit it reasonably big in the U.S. in the last five years and they were probably on this list.
Still, that didn't really give me any idea of what their music sounded like. The more I read, the more I saw comparisons to Coldplay and Radiohead. While people might think that's a compliment, those comparisons are being thrown around about every fucking band on Earth these days so they're pretty cheap in my book. They're also completely misleading.
From the first track, "Scouthall", Bluebottle Kiss sets up an album that plays like a slow burn. That first song is both beautiful and devastating as guitars, harmonium, a saw and ambient background noise set up a haunting backdrop to Jamie Hutchings lyrics of loss and remembrance. It's a bold opening but is hardly the highlight of this album.
In fact, every song seems to build on the last and while this is not a concept album, the whole thing flows so well you could almost convince yourself it was one. The songs blend well but never sound the same. "Everything Begins and Ends At Exactly The Right Time" has an almost Southwestern sound (think Calexico). "Sisters Head On" is a midtempo pop song with a wonderfully bouncy rhythm. "Crawling With Ants" plays like a wildly crashing waltz. That all of these songs fit together so nicely on an album is testiment to the genius of this band.
While I wish that Bluebottle Kiss would become huge here in the U.S., unfortunately, Come Across is going to be one of those overlooked gems. It's going to be one of those albums that the mainstream won't embrace. However, there are many out there who are going to hear this record and it's going to MEAN something to them. It's going to connect the way records used to connect with listeners back before prefab artists overwhelmed the media. While that's unfortunate for Bluebottle Kiss, its' a fantastic thing for music, because it's only going to take one or two of those fans to start the next great revolution in rock music.
Here's keeping our fingers crossed that it comes soon.
Visit the band's website at www.bluebottlekiss.com.