It’s just over a year (October 2012) since LOUD HORIZON confidently predicted big things for London based band, BLUE SUNDAY. That assertion was based on the superb debut release, ‘Last Night,’ which was further enhanced by a powerful and thought-provoking video.
Follow-up ‘Read Me Wrong’ was perhaps not so instant, but still reaffirmed my earlier view before, if I remember correctly an EP was formally released in the Spring of this year which included the afore-mentioned tracks.
Of course, it was around that time when LOUD HORIZON embarked upon a period of hiatus, and although I did revisit the video for ‘Last Night’ on occasion, it really didn’t occur to me that BLUE SUNDAY were themselves undergoing something of a revamp.
Lead singer / bassist Jeet Mukerji and original guitarist Valentino Borgo had by early summer been joined by drummer Marco Ciro Bizzoto and having played several gigs around London under the new line-up, they were invited (from some seventeen hundred artist entries) to play at the prestigious ‘Y Not Festival’ in Derbyshire.
More gigs followed showcasing the band’s new ‘beefed up,’ sound, and they have just recently released ‘Wicked Ways,’ the first single from the new line-up….. which has already been highlighted by Tom Robinson’s “Fresh Faves” feature on his BBC ‘Fresh On the Net’ website.
Can grunge-inspired guitar / bass riffs be termed ‘catchy?’ Or ‘bouncy?’ ‘Cause that’s what I’m hearing. A strong bassline underpins the whole track while the guitar provides the hook, the solos clear and concise Jeet’s vocals are distinct and deep (bordering on sounding ‘dark’ in places, but steered away by some nice harmonies.) The track fires along at quite a pace and with the cymbals crashing and that pounding bass, ‘Wicked Ways’ carries elements of a hard-rock track – but an easily accessible one that will definitely cross genres and appeal to a wide audience …. although I’d suggest a more ‘mature’ one.
Interestingly, there is another version of the song around – an acoustic version that is accompanied by a video prepared for the band by the New York Film Academy.
And surprisingly for me – I like this version even better! It has a kind of ‘bohemian’ feel to it and actually, when you compare the two versions (which is perhaps a little unfair) the song actually ‘breathes’ a lot easier without the over-riding bassline. This version also leaves room for the vocals and harmonies to soar a little higher and freer. The inclusion of handclaps is always a winner with me and the feeling you get of this being a spontaneous performance and recorded in one live take gives it a more ‘genuine’ sound.
I really liked the single version when I heard it and had I not been given an alternative, would have left it at that!
Personally speaking, much as I like the ‘rocking’ version, where I definitely think BLUE SUNDAY will ultimately prove my bold prediction of a year ago correct, is with the style of the acoustic version. It would certainly be interesting to hear more from these guys.
(‘Wicked Ways‘ is available now, November 2013 via i-Tunes)
(Electric version : 8/10)
(Acoustic version: 9/10)