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Arts in Review

Soundbite: J Blissette: A Series of Observations / Love Letter

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I caught Lethbridge, Alberta’s J Blissette at Carport Manor earlier this month. Let me tell you about J Blissette. Despite his tropical-tinged half-ska, half-punk style, lead singer / guitarist Jackson Tiefenbach’s set rivaled Villain Villain’s most danceable peaks (Villain Villain shared the bill with J Blissette) and Loans’ most tension-filled, head-banging endeavours.

“A Series of Observations”  — a song which would fit perfectly along with a more contentious version of Save Ferris — sees J Blissette trade in punk’s traditionally dissatisfied delivery for a more melodic approach, making up for the lack of volume with lyrics that are just as accessible as they are dissatisfied, and (more importantly) immediately charismatic. Also, a saxophone solo crops up surprisingly, halfway through the track, and guys, as far as saxophone solos go, it’s pretty kick-ass.

“Love Letter” is a much more straightforward, yet equally danceable, punk hit. More dissatisfied than its sister release, Tiefenbach screeches out his attempt at writing a love letter and oscillates between a Johnny Rotten-esque growl and an undeniably melodic counterpart.

And if a violently snapped guitar string (casually shrugged aside) and more writhing than I’ve seen a single person do on-stage are any indication, the biggest challenge J Blissette’s music will pose to listeners or show-goers will be in deciding to either headbang along to it, or break out into dance.

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