Monday, October 24, 2016

Two new ones from Vista Blue!

Vista Blue continues to release new music at such a rapid rate that I'm having trouble keeping up! I last checked in with VB after the release of its Olympics themed EP in August, and since then the band has come out with not one but two seasonal releases for the fall. Summer's Over was released in September, and the band followed that with October Days (And October Nights​!​) earlier this month. We are very quickly running out of days remaining in October, and before long winter will be rearing its ugly head. So it's with a certain sense of urgency that I offer this quick review of Vista Blue's fall two-fer! Get 'em while they're hot!

This really is the best time of the year: the weather's great, football season is in full swing, and I'm imbibing Oktoberfest lager on a nightly basis. Summer's Over, as the title of an EP, is as self-explanatory as it gets. It's both a reflection on good times now passed and a celebration of all that the current season has to offer. "When It Was Summer" is perfectly bittersweet power pop with a touch of synth, while "Changing Leaves" is a breezy instrumental that manages to sound the way a beautiful fall day feels. "Muffins for Breakfast" is a snappy account of how everyone's favorite power pop blogger/DJ, The Ice Cream Man, spent his summer vacation. "I Don't Know Where Dr. Frank Lives" builds wonders off a reference to a mostly forgotten Mr. T. Experience song from 16 years ago. Compared to some other Vista Blue releases, this one runs a little more towards pop than punk. And that makes perfect sense. Pour yourself some apple cider and blast this EP while you relax outside and enjoy what's left of the fall weather!

Meanwhile, October Days (And October Nights​!​) is a celebration of Halloween and horror movies. References to Friday the 13th, Halloween, and Nightmare on Elm Street abound, and "I Can't Stay Up All Nite" confronts the consequences of all that seasonal scariness with a wonderful combination of sweetness and humor. I love that a song like "Crystal Lake" comes across as your classic pop-punk rock n' roll tune until you realize what it's really about! And even with the focus on the classics of the scary movie genre, there's also a really cool song called "Teddy" which pays homage to a slasher short of a more recent vintage. I would classify pop-punk and Halloween as two things that just go together, and Vista Blue has reaffirmed that essential truth.

Both Summer's Over and October Days (And October Nights​!​) are free downloads over at Bandcamp, and I truly hope that Vista Blue never stops turning out these digital EPs based on seasonal themes. I have yet to be disappointed by any of this band's efforts. Look for another theme release coming for Christmastime!


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