The Blithedale Romance: Wanderer
Honest and concise—that sums up The Blithedale Romance’s recent EP, Wanderer, where the vocal grit of Circle Jerks is bundled with a melodic punk sound in a fun musical package of five aggressive tracks that pack a punch. Though lyrically simple, each song confronts a subject without becoming muddled in overuse of symbolism.
“Now That You Know,” the opening track, introduces the band’s honest lyricism and charm. It sets the tone for the EP as a gritty apology for the speaker’s imperfection: “If I had been a better man I would have opened up to you months ago/ But if I were a better man, my fears wouldn’t get to me.”
“Struggle,” the third track on the album, takes a more melodic approach while maintaining the guttural vocals. It literally and figuratively tackles the subject of what comes after death by stating, “Who’s to say I’m not already there?/ Lived once before, unable to recall.” The narrator’s emotional “death” is drawn parallel to physical death by addressing his uncertainty about being present in his own life.
As a whole, the EP follows a simple formula of straightforward lyrics with catchy guitar riffs. The gritty vocal style, though off-putting at times, pairs well with the messages conveyed in the songs, and The Blithedale Romance avoid muddling their music with anything but true emotion.
This review first appeared in Issue 05