Bright Calm Blue's second album, A Direct Approach for Casual Conversation, is composed of six catchy, beat driven, math-oriented songs in the vein of Fugazi and Four Hundred Years. Hailing from Lincoln, Neb., Bright Calm Blue has landed on East Coast indie label Level Plane.
"Salt and Black Water," although a little long for an opening track, starts off the album with some math-y, post-punk excellence. "Static," the second track, is by far the best. Suggest it to your favorite deejay (aka glorified I-tunes shuffle button) and shake your ass with the bass, then go nuts when the synth-driven bridge comes in. "Static" is not necessarily the best example of the songs on the album, but it is an example of the band at its best.
Past the first two songs, though, A Direct Approach for Casual Conversation struggles to regain the catchiness of the openers. Still, the band knows how to write a song, and there are enough gems on the record to help you ignore the low points focus on the well-placed time signatures and guitar work. These aspects help Bright Calm Blue avoid being labeled merely another hip band with a song you can dance to. There is definite substance here, and after listening through once or twice it will become apparent you still haven't heard everything this record has to offer.
Level Plane has yet to let me down with a band; Bright Calm Blue is no exception. While this release isn't redefining punk rock, it shows that Bright Calm Blue has the talent to produce some really important stuff in the future.
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