Album Review – The Vicious Afterglow by The Blusterfields (2021) (Self released)


I have a vivid imagination. It is a product of my lifelong ADHD and my total (in)ability to concentrate on anything for more than a nano-second, before the next blissful daydream rebounds around the cranium and the less medically induced ability to not give a shit about too much.
The first listen of the this The Viscious Afterglow debut album by North Carolina foursome, The Blusterfields, initially had my mind signalling old school quality. This wasthen replaced with the notion that, one day, when I become ‘music Prime Minister / President of the World’ all jangle-pop bands will be forced to be called “The [choose any well know British sound surname or small town name].
Of course this may be a tad tyrannical, but its better that Donald Trump wanting to barbeque foreigners and Boris Johnson and his ridiculous Tory cronies closing down every hospital that has had the audacity to save someone’s life.
The Blusterfields don’t quite fill the requirements of the name criteria that I will impose, but it is perfectly apt as a way of describing the energy, power and attention to all manner of the garage, power-pop and jangle-pop detail, that was so magnificent about the retro sounds of yesteryear.
Initially, they can most certainly grumble with 60s/70s garage intensity, with the title track and Too Obvious assuming the incessant multi-riffed intensity of The Monks or MC5, whilst steadfastly refusing to get drawn into a similar manic. This is a more melodic, dynamic type of spit and snarl and all the more perfect for it.
The garage is further wonderfully diluted in The Bigger Gun and Buzzface. These are all massivem humping, instantly recognizable The Troggs style riffs, engulfed in hazy, pumped up, 60s psyche-rock that augments the omnipotent jangled riffs even further, as much by energetic contrast and melodic intent.
An entire album of the above energy might swamp the release in aggression, however this band also do all that was pretty about the power-pop and jangle-pop of retro yesteryear.
Initially, Pop Psycho and Insomnia are everything 70s/80/90s power-pop is renowned for. Here the fuzz/jangle laden mixtures of the guitar riffs of the The Posies / Teenage Fanclub sidle through the psyche, whereas January Jones and Zsa Zsa Dinosaur are all The Byrds style riffs, threaded through languid Alex Chilton vocals.
Along with Chapter Three by The Legal Matters and Sundown’s End by Kevin Robertson, this album has just einforced 2021 as a stellar year for retro power/jangle-pop.
The digital is available now with the CD due for release im early Feb 2022. Grab yourself a copy here.









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