One week before the U.S. Presidential election, Toronto-based outfit Blurred Vision releases its debut EP: Democracy. Could this six-pack of tracks be a bilateral success?
Quite possibly. Indeed Democracy has moments (and sometimes minutes) that could delight a listener of any political bent.
The opening track, “Hammer Shaped Scar Part I,” is rather soothing, considering the title, which could pass for the next Slipknot album. However, this song is far more melodic than chaotic. Two minutes in, a beguiling lead guitar takes over; six-string enthusiasts should have their appetites whetted.
Track 2, “Famous Last Words,” is a slow, synthesized and haunting affair, reminiscent of the Guns N’ Roses piece, “Coma.”
Track 3 is the second part of “Hammer Shaped Scar.” This piece has an ocean of soul and energy, and could see significant radio action. Mournful but without a trace of the maudlin, this track, with its spirited vocals and inspired guitar chops, evokes Candlebox’s glorious 90s hit “Far Behind.”
Track 4, “Dear John,” is a sincere elegy to the assassinated ex-Beatle: “Oh my, oh my — So many years have gone by. We try, and try — Never will we say goodbye.”
Despite telling John about “all the madness that is in our world today,” the song also assures the fallen icon that “we can’t help but feel your love remains.” Though the darker side of human nature continues to surface around the globe, “We still believe; we still imagine.”
30+ years into John’s afterlife, this song conveys that our mortal world has plenty of grief, but is not without hope — the sort of hope that he so aptly represented.
The final, title track is by far the heaviest. About 80 seconds in, Blurred Vision goes Nine Inch Nails on us, and bloody well pulls it off, if only for a dozen or so seconds, before returning to a more conventional style of rock.
It makes sense that a track called “Democracy” on an album of the same name would offer social commentary: “Lies, lies, well disguised — Minds all hypnotized. Terror is what you hear — What will make it disappear? Leaders teach us — Everything we shouldn’t be. Come on, all you people — This is no democracy.”
Though Blurred Vision may have a cynical view of the current political landscape, the musical soundscape might be more to their liking. Whatever triumph accumulates from this EP will likely be built on the foundation of Track 3 — a solid foundation at that.