Something Clever Advise Against Taking The Blue Pill on New EP ‘Moments Blue’
Something Clever advise us to avoid the blue pill, wake up, and live life loud and fast on their new EP Moments Blue
When I saw that Something Clever’s two new EPs would be titled Moments: Red and Moments: Blue, I couldn’t but immediately think of the film The Matrix (1999) because of the whole Red Pill vs. Blue Pill moment that defined the entire story. The tenuous and, most likely only in my mind, connection between one of my favorite movies of all time and the new music from Something Clever was most assuredly just that, only in my mind. Turns out, to the attentive listener, that connection might not be so tenuous nor imaginary. Regardless, the songs on Moments: Blue exist in their own matrix of hard driving, positive messaged, and pure adrenaline fueled rock, and infuse some much needed momentum into a genre that is quickly becoming stagnated.
Immediately keeping with Something Clever’s overall message of “endurance through hardship and finding one’s purpose” (see their Facebook page’s bio), singer Adam Nelson erupts with the question “These four walls and a nine to five/Is this the only way to be alive?/I’m sorry but I refuse to subscribe to that lie!” at the outset of Moments: Blue’s first song “Get With It.” With images from The Matrix bouncing around my head, I immediately pictured Neo sitting at his desk in his cubicle. Later on when Nelson actually says the word “matrix” in the song while singing about being “out on that ledge” I couldn’t help but think that there was at least a fleeting reference to or influence being affected upon Nelson’s lyrics and themes. Again, though, one doesn’t even have to know what The Matrix is to understand and feel the power of Nelson and Something Clever’s message here. I can’t even satisfactorily put into words the emotion that Something Clever stirs up in one when listening to their music. Like the fictional matrix of the film, Something Clever’s impact is something that has to be shown, or in this case, heard, to be understood.
“Always,” the EP’s very next track keeps the high level energy going with more fast and hard riffs and tempos. Nelson sings about “breaking the cycle,” “this all ends with me,” and “kill the darkness now!” once again forcefully pulling the listener into his mindset of empowerment and personal perseverance. At first listen, I felt like the song, despite its strong lyrical content, was going to follow the same trajectory that “Get With It” did and end up being short and riff repetitive. For an opener, that’s a great formula, but two songs in a row like that would lean toward boring repetition. Unlike “Get With It” though, “Always,” which seems to be hurling headlong into another short burst of punk infused metal aggression, takes another direction. A much more expansive sound emerges later in the song. It’s grounded by a great guitar solo that demonstrates Kelly Flusk’s ability to create atmospheric riffs as well as fast fingered athletic ones. “Always” just might be my favorite Something Clever song right now. It rightly deserves the designation.
The EP’s second half kicks off with “Super Human.” The song follows a path that’s musically similar to “Always”, indulging in atmospherics that break up the staccato riffing, but the song is much less complicated from a composition perspective. What it lacks as far as complication it makes up for with more encouraging lyrics like “No matter what they say/We’re gonna make it anyway” and “My life is nowhere near what I thought it would be/But I’m happy it’s more than what it should be.” Drawing the EP to a close is “Freaks Like You,” the second most musically interesting and arresting song on the short album. Nelson and the band engage in a heavy amount of fist pumping “HEY! HEY! HEY!” breaks throughout that will be more fun to hear live than in your headphones, but nevertheless it works here. With a little more open space between the wall to wall riffing, like in “Always,” Something Clever show a tinge of restraint that allows the listener a short break from all the fist pumping, if only to to recharge for the next mosh inspiring song.
So whether or not you even have any idea of what The Matrix was about, by the time you’ve listened to Something Clever’s EP Moments Blue enough times to absorb the positive vibes and pummeling energy, you’ll feel like you’ll be ready to rocket into the sky and leave all your regrets and failure behind you as well. It’s how Something Clever can make you feel, and that’s a great thing for any band to be know for.