BOSTON/NE BANDS, Fresh Stream

SPRINGSTEEN – EDGY AND DULL

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Boston shoe-gazers Springsteen have hijacked Bruce Springsteen – and used him for their own dark, fuzzed out rock. The album title, Edgy and Dull, is lyrics plucked right from Bruce’s “I’m On Fire”, and the two words are an accurate guide to their sound. The whole album is a little bit of both. The edgy comes from the use of plenty of cutting guitar parts that stand out with clear sharpness. The dull comes from the thick, murky fuzz of reverb that backs every track. The vocals have the same dual effect, as through the filters and effects they are distant and whirly, yet are full of enough emotion to be distinct and haunting. The vocals switch off between vocalists throughout the album, which also allows for contrast in tones. Yet despite the band’s gloomy aesthetic, the songs have brightly melodic moments to them. These moments ensure the songs are not completely submereged in the dark world of shoegaze, buoyed by lighter elements of swirly dream pop. The album comes full Bruce Springsteen shaped circle with the final song, “Cover”, which is indeed a cover of the song from which the album gets its title. The cover rubs away the 80’s gloss of the song and twists it into a grungier, fuzzier version – proving that Springsteen are not simply a derivative joke, but are settling comfortably into their own sound.

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