dB Magazine - Web
Bluebottle Kiss - Doubt Seeds
Review by Steven Williams
How inspirational it is that after more than a decade, Bluebottle Kiss are not only as good as ever - they're getting better. Quite simply, 'Doubt Seeds' is one of the hardest hitting rock albums I've ever heard, and being a double album, that's a lot of weight. Songwriter Jamie Hutchings has not slowed down his productivity or creativity and with a stable line-up again, it seems the band are as much in tune with one another as any band could be. They're fearless, they're excited and they're making ground-breaking music.
Your Mirror Is A Vulture opens proceedings with a nasty snarling guitar and Hutchings throwing out his vocals in emphatic fashion. The tempo slows and then suddenly a free jazz session similar to that of Radiohead's The National Anthem smothers the rest of the song. The word 'epic' comes to mind. Jared Harrison's drumming is beautifully brutal on the following track Nova Scotia and time passes quickly.
There are just so many dimensions to this album, so much substance and variety. The Weight Of The Sea for instance, sinisterly lurks, explodes and then plays it all so cool again with a trumpet solo perfectly suited to a laid back jazz lounge. And Bluebottle Kiss would look so good in that swanky lounge. Then we get Scrub The Mist which, filled with piano and bells, conjures images of mind-exploding happiness and peacefulness. Fire Engine is a personal favourite - a dance put on by Ross Dickie's bass line to which the guitars of Hutchings and Ben Grounds laugh at and flirt with, before the final slow build up, ascending explosion. Hutchings seems to be growing in comfort with writing these explosive outros and from the timeless Homeless Blueless on 'Patient' he has owned the writing of such antics.
The second disc begins with Dream Audit, an ethereal yet disturbing intro of ascending mayhem. They just do it so well with every gear change in the song providing a sudden new direction, seamless in transition. The laughter at the opening of Little Black Dahlias shows that the band are clearly enjoying their hard work. The Black Birds is another favourite, with beautiful memories and dreams aroused...and then Dickie's gutsy plodding bass line pops up and the guitars start fighting with Harrison's controlled drumming edging them on all the way. It just knocks me out!
I've gotten over the only problems that I've had with the album - the female vocals for the choir parts and the feeling that lofty single A Little Bit Of Light doesn't quite fit in. The definition of 'perfection' in art is a subjective one, and due to it moving me so tremendously, I have no problem applying the term to 'Doubt Seeds'.