Words by Brit Boras
Brooklyn-based post-punk trio Big Bliss is one of those bands that when you see them play live, everything from their sound and performance sucks you completely into their world. Hitting play on their debut LP “At Middle Distance,” released 10/19 via Exit Stencil Recordings, I was both hopeful and nervous that the record would do their live show justice. To my relief, the two performances are very equally tied in strength of power.
“At Middle Distance” takes its listeners through various realms of what it means to be a young adult navigating life while also feeling the varying pangs of youth traumas.
The record opens on “Constants” which is an upbeat, drum-heavy track, which keeps its listener entranced while lead singer Tim Race chants melancholy lyrics about “the symbol of youth.”
Wallace May’s bass lines act as a consistent driving force, almost to symbolize the movement of time passing. “Surface” is a post-punk/shoegaze track where the reverb engulfs you and the chorused out guitars surround you like a tornado. Race’s vocals are extra thick and are almost reminiscent of an army of men shouting through a wall of sound emphasized by the layers of guitars. Cory Race, the bands standout drummer, transports listeners to another era in the song “Duplicate.” The reverbed drum groove takes you directly to a 1950’s school dance in black and white, where the live band is performing a ballad for its listeners to slow dance to.
While both laid back and reflective, the track is also simultaneously beautiful and uplifting.
Another standout track on the record is “Answer,” which starts as the ultimate summertime road trip song and slowly decays into a dark tunnel of desperation. Tim sings “Sun coming up and then I appear, sun coming up and it’s tilting near, it’s not enough, it’s not enough, it’s becoming clear, it’s not enough, it’s not enough it’s so insincere.” Reminding listeners that sunshine and happiness are both always fleeting.
Big Bliss did not let their fans down with their debut record “At Middle Distance” and the album will surely transport this band to new realms as it does to it’s listeners.
You can find the album on all digital platforms, or order a physical copy directly from Exit Stencil Recordings.