Attempting to capture the intensity and energy of a live performance, particularly with a reputation of having an especially bombastic one, can be a daunting task for any artist. But with their latest effort, Blanket Statement, Colorado outfit Musuji may have done just that.
To say that Musuji’s reputation precedes them would be an understatement. Known for their “wild with madness” moniker, Musuji mash together layer upon layer of sound and energy to create their own blend of funky, intense indie rock that is equally as chill as it is disastrous – and that’s in a good way.
Released on June 18 in a kind of joint release show with the delightfully weird and abrasive Colorado punk outfit The Hellgramites, Blanket Statement is a larger-than-life statement of Musuji’s creative brilliance that slaps you in the face one moment and sings you to sleep the next.
At the forefront of the band is vocalist Arnie Blomquist, whose unique delivery ranges anywhere from a gritty, growly scream to an Isaac Brock (Modest Mouse) type of shout, to a faint whisper – all while maintaining a constant level of brilliance, showcasing an impressive range.
The aforementioned layers complimenting Blomquist consist of spacy guitar work and funky saxophone lines from new members Michael Zucker and Ryan Eschenbach, respectively, with Lucas Strickland holding it all together on the drums.
The overall funkiness of the album and Musuji in and of itself is largely thanks to bassist Thom Whitney. Whitney’s style is the epitome of “cool,” and shines throughout the record, most notably on pieces such as “Pen Pal” and “The Under.”
Blanket Statement is like an onion, it is full of layers, but not just stacked instrument and vocal tracks. Rather layers of style and individuality. The album, and Musuji’s overall sound, echo elements of Frank Zappa’s funky oddness, the melodic yet unapologetically creative works of Ween, and even some of the more experimental early works of Pink Floyd.
With Blanket Statement, Musuji have successfully crammed a delicious concoction of creative genius into one fantastically unorthodox masterpiece.