For five years now, Bluish, a Staten Island-based indie-rock band, has been tearing up the New York City club scene. It has graced venues such as CBGB’s, Dock Street and Blaggard’s Pub, marking its territory with a signature sound and a powerful live performance.
The band continued along the garage act route in 2001 when it released its self-produced EP, “Milestones and Deliverables.” Its first effort was impressive, but the unprofessional sound and occasionally repetitive song structure kept the band shackled to the term “local.” In 2005, Bluish released its first full-length album, “The Likelihood Of Storms,” a 12-track arsenal of hypnotic, infectious rock music that will have you singing along and nodding your head, whether you want to or not.
Bluish is a five-piece act, comprised of Anthony Bilotti (vocals/guitar), Danielle Bilotti (vocals/flute), Steven Giordano (guitar), Joe Bilotti (bass) and Jay Engel (drums). Danielle’s complementary vocals and engaging flute lines really add to the band’s sound. Her harmonies work well to complement Anthony’s explosive voice, adding a softer touch to some of the heavier songs on the album, something that has worked well for bands like The Anniversary and From Autumn To Ashes. These harmonies are abundant in many of the songs, where they bring elegance to Anthony’s comfortable sense of rage.
“The Likelihood Of Storms” pushes Bluish’s unidentifiable sound further within the murky lines of the indie genre. Many of the band’s newer songs, like “Better You Found Out Now,” “Picture Perfect,” “Not Now” and “On Again Off Again” feature slow, soothing guitar lines, a sneaky background bass that never quite catches you off-guard but surprises you with its niche in the song, and quick, repetitive bursts of flute that keep several of the tracks afloat, leading into their respective choruses. “Picture Perfect” embodies this marriage of subdued rock and indie melody the best, luring you in with its laid-back verses and chorus, then exploding ever so slightly for an edgy, but still feel-good, bridge.
Three of Bluish’s original songs successfully made the jump from “Milestones and Deliverables.” “Sooner Than Later,” “Then I Guess” and “Conquer and Heal” were all on the 2001 EP, and all three are present here, with some slight, but welcome, modifications. “Then I Guess” underwent the largest remodeling, as it now features a whammy, bar-induced guitar line following the first chorus, as well as interchanging vocals between Anthony and Danielle during the chorus. “Sooner Than Later,” a perennial fan favorite among the Bluish faithful, has simply been cleaned up around the edges and given a more professional sound. “Conquer and Heal” underwent the same refinement.
Anyone who values lyrics should check out “Conquer and Heal.” Anthony tends to wax poetic on some songs, and this track displays this trait better than any others do.
Bluish displays their diversity on the final two tracks. In “Language Learned,” they manage to play a straight-up rock song with power chords and intensity, taking a step back from the relaxed nature of the CD and showing that they still know how to play a pulse-pounding, guitar-driven song. The final song on the CD is an 11-minute opus, entitled “One of Eight.” Anthony and Danielle open up vocally on this one, showing their full range in unison with the band. Steven plays an old-fashioned guitar solo over Anthony’s clean-channel strumming, while Joe and Jay creep in through the back door as the song’s unsung heroes with hidden base walk downs and light splash cymbals.
“The Likelihood of Storms” is an evolution in Bluish’s distinct sound. The band’s chemistry is growing, while their sound is maturing. Credit must also be given to producer Robert “Void” Caprio, who has previously worked with Live (“Pain Lies On The Riverside”) and Peter Gabriel (“Steam”). With a producer like Caprio, Bluish will be able to ditch the “local” reputation and extend their influence past New York. Make no mistake about it, Bluish is on the rise. Another release like this could scare up a “storm” so loud that the major labels will have no choice but to stand up and listen.