Blueswater, eclectic lovechild of old school R&B, blues, funk, soul, rock ‘n’ roll – to list just a few – is a heady mix of slick lyrics and slicker transitions. The 11 piece band has already established itself on the St Andrews-Edinburgh music scene with highly rated regular gigs at Aikman’s, ramping up the tempo at events such as the sell out Masquerade Ball, and loosening up the Edinburgh Fringe last year. Friday 1st June saw the launch of their self titled first album, but how well does a band which stakes so much on its stage presence translate digitally?
Although the opening track "Do It (In a Double Dip Recession)" is good – and I use that overused adjective deliberately – the adrenalin driven live perfromances led me to expect more. As much as I admire anyone who can turn the stock market and bonds into an innuendo, as opening gambits go it’s somewhat lacklustre.
Having said that, when this album finally finds its feet, it truly comes into its own. "Should I Be Bad or Should I Be Good" is reassuringly spectacular and cries out to be replayed, but don’t hit repeat yet. Keep calm – and still, if you can – and push on to track 3 (Baby Takes My Money), another gem. "Call the Doctor" is definitely a hit in the making, but it's worth watching the video in order to appreciate just how amazing front man Felipe's lyrical gymnastics are.
There is a risk that with so many influences, artists and ideas the album might become chaotic. Fortunately, the easily overlooked "Grey Sky" neatly allows it to side step becoming too overwhelming. The surprisingly soothing trumpet solos manage to balance out the album as a whole.
In the jump between formats there is undoubtedly something which is lost – perhaps it’s the pools of sweat they claim to induce at every concert – but the concentration of tracks which would happily stand alone without the support of an album guarantees that you will still be listening a month down the line.
The album is available at here
All images courtesy of The Blueswater.