In the 60’s, a three-piece, all-girl band would have been dubbed a ‘supergroup’. Reviving the sentiment and propelling lovey-dovey emotions forward is the Oakland band, Night School. Having a slow buildup, the band is finally coming into their own and their debut, Blush, is a love letter to music.
Blush is dreamy, poppy, sentimental –romantic; and like an old lover has so many little flaws that you’ll never shut up about it but goddamnit you still adore them.
Night School doesn’t necessarily do anything groundbreaking –in fact, it risks sounding just like everything else right now. There’s a growing reverb-laden, garage inspired, indie rock/pop scene and unfortunately it seems like Blush checks off all the lackluster tropes. Meanwhile, the rhythm guitar is frankly overbearing and could use less distortion, less overdrive –more of something. And before we go on, let me admit, it’s very evident that there’s something in all three of the musicians that is begging them to play indie-pop –and that’s a compliment. At the same time, hiccups aside, the debut album is fantastic. Predictability is redeemed by creativity and raw skill.
So here’s the case for Blush –Night School has something amazing on the tip of their tongues, they just need to get it out. The composition is solid. The vocal harmonies are overwhelmingly good. The percussion, with all of its kicks, is on point. And the clean guitar leads are fantastic. Lyrical content is sincere and even believable. Aside from that, the band has a clear vision in mind that they’re reaching for. The inspiration drawn from older bands, like The Shangri-Las, stands out. Night School captures a certain emotional content excellently and performs it amazingly –the music is very attractive.
Blush has all the right ideas with mediocre execution. Examining the album piece by piece a bit, “Airplanes” is an easy highlight of Blush. The track features smooth, twinkly guitar that digs into your soul and pulls out the more melancholic, attached emotions. It’s as if the song pulls out fonder memories or if you missed something. Hearing Night School become more somber for a confessional, “You’re the only one I need; –like your shoes just because they’re yours,” is a pleasant experience. Ultimately, a solid song with amazing vocals and guitar. Alternatively, the next track, “Hypnotized,” is an interesting choice. Outright the entire band dances around ‘Angel Baby’ –it’s a frankly shameless homage, but still a decent, appreciable one. Finally, “Casanova” is everything that Night School needs to be. It seems as if the incredible talent of the musicians really shines through. The heavy drumming just thumps in the right way. The vocals become so much more driven and honest –real. The guitars find their zen balance and it all comes together beautifully. Night School is beautiful.
Bottom line; Blush is very fun, very good, very accessible but Night School should not have bought that effects pedal. So what though? Blush is Night School’s debut full length and it’s killer. If you like twee, if you like garage, if you have ever been in love then you may want to keep Night School in mind. Blush will leave you with a crush for Night School.