Leeds-based band Blue Kubricks have been bringing their fun brand of funk/alt-rock to the UK underground scene for the last few years. The quintet has begun to amass quite the following from their various singles released from 2019 onwards, as well as some impressive gigs both live and on stream. With just five singles released so far, the band are already making an impression on the UK scene.
Starting with their debut track, ‘Incomplete’, it opens on an almost 90’s pop-rock style acoustic guitar chord progression before the rest of the band join in over the top that keeps the mood light and fun. The vocals come in and don’t change the feeling at all, sounding like a British Eddie Vedder or Scott Stapp. I’m a sucker for this style of music, both for the style and nostalgia. There isn’t too much to talk about in terms of structure or changes in this song; it’s just a straight-up pop-rock song featuring catchy, soaring vocals and some simple but awesome instrumentation behind it. There is a brilliant little guitar solo towards the end too. A great song!
‘Heroin’ opens on some instrumentation more reminiscent of Red Hot Chili Peppers or even Reef – the guitar playing being fantastic and working so well over the slightly simpler drumbeats and bassline. The vocals fit perfectly over the top of it all too, having such a great tone and style to them. There again isn’t too much in the way of dynamics in the song, but the genre and type of music almost excuses that and it doesn’t need too many massive transitions as the entire song is catchy and entertaining. It does mean it’s a tad hard to hear where the choruses are though, I have to admit. Another awesome solo follows what I think is the second chorus, this one definitely channels some heavy John Frusciante vibes. I enjoyed this even more than the first one and it makes the Overtone 2020 playlist!
‘You’re a Beach’ definitely lives up to its title with its opening riff, it feels like it would fit straight in on the Hawaiian coast! It impresses me that the band can seem to change their style a fair bit between each song while also maintaining their own sound throughout too, something that even big mainstream bands struggle with a fair bit at times. It also has the most indistinguishable chorus of all of the songs so far, it sounds awesome and the backing vocals making it sound even more catchy than it already was. There’s also a little funky bass fill before a guitar solo, both of them sounding fantastic and again very RHCP-y! Another final, catchy chorus ends another great song.
‘Jermaine’ mixes things up, opening on a great piano melody instead of guitars and somehow gives off even more of a 90’s vibe than their debut. It took me far too long to realise that this was going to be a completely instrumental song, getting to nearly a minute into a two-and-a-half-minute track before realising I hadn’t heard any vocals yet. This is, however, an excellent song – a calm, slow showcase of some simple yet emotional, impactful piano melodies backed by minimalistic drums and some strings towards the end. It’s a fantastic little track that would work perfectly in an album setting, even if it is a little odd for a standalone single.
The final single, and the most recent, is ‘Latin.’ It is obviously the heaviest song the band has released so far – the vocals opening it up with a slightly harsher tone before a pretty great guitar riff comes in behind, accompanied by some cymbal heavy drums. It quickly builds into the catchiest, biggest and best chorus they have I’d say. We also get another fantastic guitar solo before the final chorus, it sounding technically difficult and pretty damn impressive. The band go balls to the wall for the whole three minutes of this track and I love it, giving them a harder edge and changing their style yet again. It may be my favourite song by them, but it’s a pretty hard choice!
Overall: I honestly loved each and every one of Blue Kubrick’s songs. They were all interesting and different in their way and, while slightly indie in their mixing, they were different enough from the dozens and dozens of Artic Monkeys clones in this country that it made me like them so much more. Their sound is an amalgamation of so many different bands who I already like and I honestly cannot wait to hear more, and not just to see what style they come out with next!
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