For those searching for a solidly classic rock and roll album, Florida-based band The Blonde Tongues has come to the rescue with its latest release, Anxiety Dream. It’s grungy and garage-y, and everything about the album is rough around the edges in the best kind of way.
Anxiety Dream opens with its title track; “Anxiety Dream” is frantic, despite faded, shouting vocals that add a punk tinge to the track. Its riffs and verses are typical of the genre, though: there’s a touch of grit and fuzz to every second of the garage rock music.
The rest of the album follows a vaguely similar track: “I Want You To Leave Your Body” is vaguely reminiscent of Cloud Nothings’ earlier discography in that its production is not as smooth, but it’s intentional and the rough edges add to the overall griminess of the track in a positive way. It is a little more cohesive than the first track, however, making the album less anxiety-inducing. “Swerve” follows with a similarly catchy, smooth rock vibe, and its dark melody resonates deep in my chest every time I listen to it.
“Joy Dealer” provides a brief reprieve from the intensity of the heavy rock music in the album’s fourth track of five. It’s a little lighter and a little faded, yet the music loses none of its depth and substantiality. The music is waterlogged with sadness as the band’s frontman croons, “Joy Dealer, what’s the deal today?/You give me hope and I decay/But I just want to be okay.”
The Blonde Tongues quickly return to the same catchy rock sound with “When The Levi’s Break,” though, closing out the album with fast-paced grinding garage rock and heavy riffs and ragged vocals.
Although many attempt to capture the true nature of rock music, few are successful – either they come across as trying too hard, or their music leans more toward pop or another genre, or there’s simply something missing. The Blonde Tongues, however, have hit the nail squarely on the head with Anxiety Dream. It’s an album of full, heavy, classic rock and roll – that’s all there is to it, and it really doesn’t need anything else to shine.