Organized Insanity

Blurred Vision

Open Eyes Records, 2015

REVIEW BY: Benjamin Ray


There's an appealing self-assurance to Blurred Vision's debut album that makes it worth returning to, even if the songwriting itself isn't quite up to the big leagues just yet. That will come in time, though, because it's clear the talent, drive and inspiration is there. 

The Canadian trio is lumped in as a progressive pop-rock group, but there is very little prog about this save for the closing two songs. The music is more power pop-rock with vague hints of American country and Middle Eastern music along with requisite Beatles, Pink Floyd and Supertramp influences, though the disc rarely sounds like those bands, which is both ideal and unusual for a debut. Opener "No More War" sounds like nothing else on the disc, with an opening guitar lick and stomp that could come off a Zac Brown Band disc.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

The bulk of the disc is given to midtempo power-pop-rock numbers, many of which have interesting features but don't warrant a desire for repeated listens. "All I Wanted" has several twists and electric piano, a rarity in 2015, while "Dear John" (aimed at Lennon) is an acoustic number with a strong George Harrison flavor that's not too bad either.

It is on "The Keeper" and "Rollin' On" that this band shows its mettle. The former moves through a series of Persian music influences, tricky drum signatures and some fine guitar work, a bit of a mini-epic with its multiple sections and choral vocals all in five minutes. "Rollin' On," meanwhile, pushes the cymbals to the forefront while the guitar plays a bluesy three-note riff, and if the verses are a bit dull, the overall atmosphere is surprisingly smoky.

"Organized Insanity" is a powerful closer, a confident chorus giving way to stabbing, staccato guitar verses while a piano tinkles away as a counterpoint to the clenched-fist musings. The song then gives way to a cool minute-long guitar solo that ends the cut and the album, and it's one of the few times that you will want to hit repeat.

There is plenty to like about this disc. There is plenty that needs more development, particularly the momentum-sucking "Tonight"/"Long May You Run"/"Promise" triptych toward the beginning. But the half of the record that works is strong and showcases a confident young band (two brothers on guitar, vocals and bass along with a drummer) with something to say.

Rating: B-

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