Album Review by Vai Thomas
Few genres in music have – with near-perfection – amalgamated high-octane energy and tempo, with a high dose of attention-retentive relatability, protest elements, and of course, plenty of creativity while combining it with high decibel levels that are fetching, but also relatable in a broader perspective. Rock is the genre that immediately comes to mind upon mentioning the above traits. However, the lyrical themes in tandem with the era, and the relevant happenings of the day, are equally important for a rock album to be influential over time. And as we know, there are various sub-genres within rock: genre-selection is where the floodgates of creativity usually open. Take punk rock, for example. And the year is 2023. And consider the current volatility around various parts of the world. Would the combination of these three elements work to satisfy the listener’s thirst for high-octane energy and creativity, amalgamated with a certain reality-rooted relatability? The answer is an emphatic yes, as illustrated by pop-punk band Moxie Starpark with their new 14-track album, titled ‘Blinding Blaring Twinkle’. With a pristine abundance of exuberance, poetic lyrics, and sparkling instrumental and vocal performances – each more different than the next – and the aptly titled ‘Blinding Blaring Twinkle’ by the all-female band, dubbed “The Greatest Band You Never Heard” does every amount of justice, not just to the genre, but also to the lyrical themes. The opening number "Couch" hits it off right away on a note that is at once anthemic, up-tempo, and high-spirited. the song has every ingredient fit for an attention-retainer: be it the vivacious vocals and screams, the addition and very creative touch of adding the BTS chatter to the final output, or the top-notch variations in terms of the groove.
"God’s God" on the other hand is of an introspective nature, slightly slower and performed in the key of C# minor with gospel elements, and by no means devoid of swagger. The tone is again set right at the beginning by the rhythm electric guitar. The song's diverse vocals merge in incredible fashion and variation throughout. The instrumental bridge here is a testament to their technical virtuosity – as are the adlibs towards the very end, rendering the gospel touch to this introspective rock number.
"Incapable" sees a return to the up-tempo G Major key rendition, and here we see the wonderfully peppy dynamic graph in terms of the arrangement, tempo, and emotive range, with equally peppy lyrics such as “Got lots of love but all the rest is inescapable, And love won’t pay this pile of bills”. "Light Up", written in the key of D Major, is wistfully dreamy, yet robust. This number would make the likes of Bryan Adams proud. Performed at mid-tempo, with chord progressions – at once fiery yet down-to-earth, and lyrics – again marvelously rendered with a poetic quality (‘I call home to hear familiar voices on the phone, but the last ring reminds me that I’m far and alone’). The variations in tempo throughout the album is a masterclass on how to inculcate creativity where needed, and without the slightest amount of fuss; there is hardly any room left for boredom throughout. "Just Like Me", written in C Major, serves as the standout protest number and an incredible addition to the album (and in some ways, the genre itself), dealing with intolerance towards people of other creeds and races, and complemented by its hard-hitting lyrics such as “Is that the kind of world you drew, where everyone was just like you”. "She’s Getting Old", with a touch of country and folk, gives a wonderful platform for both the vocalists and instrumentalists. The bass, in particular, as it supports the wonderfully low-octave vocals and showcases technical prowes. The song paints the spiritual processing of the responsibilities of dealing with an aged parent.
All in all, Blinding Blaring Twinkle is a winner all the way and a thunderous addition to the punk-rock repertoire! With its DIY ethic and amalgamation of high-octane energy, creativity, and attention-retentive relatability, this album is superb.
About Moxie Starpark Moxie Starpark is a female pop punk band hailing from the heart of New York City. Known for their melodic three-part harmonies interwoven with driving guitars and rhythms, the band effortlessly conveys soulful lyrics that invite audiences to sing along.
After a two-decade hiatus, Moxie Starpark has emerged as a cult phenomenon, captivating fans who still remember every song and have eagerly traded the band's raw demos in underground circles. Visit Moxie Starpark's website.