36vultures

Review: A Will Away, ‘Bliss’

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Written By: Joel Funk Edited By: Caitlin Kohn

I don’t know that I’ve had a chance to talk about how much I love unabashed and unapologetic pop rock before now. I fell in love with Transit when they released ‘Listen & Forgive’ and I’ve been waiting for a pop rock record that resonated with me like that one has. It’s been a while, and the wait has been torturous, but A Will Away seem hell bent on making sure the genre still has a fighting chance. Their Quiet Fire Media debut ‘Bliss’ is an explosive, flag waving champion fighter of a record that has quenched what was once thought to be an insatiable thirst.

This sounds like an entirely new band. The sound has matured from an emotionally saturated take on pop punk into an album packed with huge choruses, incredible musicianship, and enough energy to make it undeniable. Fans and new listeners alike are going to be blown away at how incredible this EP sounds. These five songs are not only the most polished and pristine that we’ve heard from A Will Away to date, but they are arguably the five best A Will Away tracks.

‘Bliss’ opens up with “Play Dead” and you would swear that this was meant to be a bonus track on the aforementioned quintessential Transit album. The opening riff is proof enough of that. This is the only track on the EP that bares such a heavy semblance to Transit. There’s no denying the influence that band has had on A Will Away, and it’s nice to see them pay homage to a band that has helped to shape their sound.

I’m honestly shocked that “My Sitter” wasn’t released as the first single for this record. I don’t have anything against “Cheap Whine,” it’s just that this track has more going for it as a whole. The chorus is catchy as hell and feels radio ready. I can’t imagine “My Sitter” not being a fan favorite. There are these ridiculously infectious claps that happen right before the final delivery of the chorus that are bound to leave you singing “with you as my sitter, I’m not going anywhere.” That’s a promise.

My favorite track off of ‘Bliss’ is “Ten or Eleven.” The track opens with an acapella vocal delivery before throwing us right into this explosive and emotionally charged experience. It’s an incredible, goosebump inducing ride every time and I’ve yet to get tired of it. The vocals are at their grittiest and most emotional on this track and I think that may be why it resonates so well with me. They abandon some of the polish for some real, tangible emotion. Do not take this track for granted*.

It was impossible for me to not instantly fall in love with this record. A Will Away is a name that you need to get used to hearing, because ‘Bliss’ is going to bring them to an entirely new level of popularity. I can only see this band soaring on the wings of this release. Believe me, I know how hyperbolic and superlative this sounds, but I can’t help it. This is an EP that I truly believe in from a band that really knows what they’re doing. They just need to brace themselves for the ride. 5/5

This was posted 2 years ago by Joel Funk.
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