Independent Spotlight is a continuing series on Stewart’s blog. The series revolves around independent artists and bands sending their music to Brett to review. No band is promised a positive review, and all music is reviewed honestly in an effort to better independent music.
In this edition of the Independent Spotlight, we shine our gaze on Damson Blaze, an indie outfit formally known as Dragonfly. The hard rocking trio from Virginia has dropped their latest single, an endeavor entitled ‘Jealousy.’ It’s a punchy, hard-hitting romp through in-your-face rock and roll that means business. Is it worth checking out, though? Let’s dig into the new single and find out.
‘Jealousy’ would probably be best described as heavy rock - it isn’t metal, but it’s definitely not for the faint of heart. It’s a female-fronted band, which is always refreshing, and Valerie Lloyd really commands a unique presence on the tune. Oddly enough, her powerful delivery reminds me a bit of Patti Smith. She performs and emphasizes her phrasing very similarly. (That, of course, is a complement. Who doesn’t love Patti Smith?)
As one might expect given the title, the track is about the trappings of jealousy, aligning it with a dark, brooding ‘green-eyed monster.’ Lyrically, the track is brief, almost written in a punk-esque fashion that emphasizes Lloyd’s epic declarations over a cinematic soundscape. A critique, though - Lloyd is mixed very dry. A little bit of reverb or atmosphere on her vocals would blend her into her surroundings far better.
Instrumentally, the track is sound as could be. Guitarist Patrick Gates and drummer Dakota Gutierrez have a good musical rapport, and the track is executed rather flawlessly. I like Gates’ intermittent solos spaced around the song rather than a traditional, elongated ‘solo section.’ It’s a tiny thing, but it’s enjoyable, nonetheless. Gates’ stylings border into metal territory, but they perfectly accentuate the other pieces of Damson Blaze’s puzzle.
‘Jealousy’ is a fine track. It’s slickly produced, very well performed, and a good excursion through heavy rock and roll. To be blunt, most indie bands in this territory fall flat on their faces, burdened by tropes and poor production. Not Damson Blaze, though, and that’s admirable. My only real critique is the vocal mix; I think it could have been organized into the landscape of the track a bit better.
Thus, check it out if you’re a heavy rock fan! Links below: