Mickey Blurr’s newest project is bound to lead you on a journey you’ve never been on before. The work of Mickey and his backing band — a group of jazz musicians from Western Connecticut State University — is truly a force to be reckoned with.
An intriguing mix of psychedelic glam pop, R&B, and punk, Dionysus, Part I is the epitome of groovy energy, comparable to Talking Heads and King Rule. It successfully tells the story of a self-indulgent character moving through his identity experience in a world that is rapidly changing into something less welcoming for him. This is a theme that is very relevant in our society today, and so I expect it will strike a chord with many listeners.
The first track of the album, “Saturday IV the Boys,” was very chilled out and groovy. It boasted catchy riffs and phrasing and a pretty cool guitar solo, but I would have loved for the balance between the vocals and instrumentals to be better so I could appreciate the lyrics more without having to strain to understand them. Luckily, this improved as the album continued.
“Edward in OZ” was also a very cool track with better balance in terms of the vocals. The lyrics were intriguing and delivered in a unique way with solid backing. One of my favorite elements of the song is the bassline, although I would love for it to be even more prominent. This could also be my bias as a bassist coming out, but everyone deserves to hear it!
The third track, “Panic,” shifted into a more energetic gear from the first two songs in a way that suits the album and keeps me listening, wondering what could come next. I loved the energy and surfer vibes of this song: it made me want to get up and dance! I’d say that “Panic” was my favorite track of the album.
“Mickey the Knife” and “Kuroneko,” the last track also suited the aestethic of the album very well despite the fact that the former was fast-paced and snappy whereas the latter was a more mellow ending. That being said, the star of the second half of the album was the fifth track, “Badstar”.
“Badstar” shifts us back into the more dulcet parts of the album with waves of distortion and simple drum patterns that guide the guitars through their melody. The lyrics are also integral to the importance of the track; as a queer artist, Mickey Blurr felt it was important to create “Badstar” as an ode to those who have to hide their love in the midst of a lack of acceptance. It’s easy to feel the power of the meaning behind his vocals.
Overall, Dionysus, Part I was a rare look into a story told through song. I enjoyed taking the journey through each track, and I’d recommend that fans of Glass Lungs, Arctic Monkeys, and Vinyl Theatre.