Blend is a four-piece rock act out of Columbus, Ohio who describe their sound as progressive rock with varying influences. The band is fronted by singer J.D. Freeman, who is joined by guitarist Michael Jacob, drummer Tyler Foltz and bassist Aaron James. The group has been active since 2017 and has started doing work for their first full-length LP, hoping to release it later in 2020.
The most intriguing thing I’ve found about Blend as they have released more music, is the variety of genres their music encompasses. Roam has a 311 vibe, Secrets sounds like it has been pumped out of the late 1990s alternative scene, while Willows Whisper kicks heaviest of all. The closest local comparison I could give to them would be the prog-rock of Morning Theft, with a funky twist.
Moreover, the production quality has improved with each newly released track, and you can feel the band gelling together as they continue their pursuit. Freeman’s lyrics are often cerebral and introspective, and the rest of the band builds their sound around his distinctive snarl.
With the lack of live concert opportunities availing themselves, the band decided to participate in a drive-in show last Friday at North High Brewing, in which all of the parking spots sold out. The band has been very active on social media, sharing updates from studio and keeping their fans thirsting for their upcoming record. The group has been working at Weird Music Studios in Columbus for their yet-to-be-named LP.
The band’s newest single is titled Me, Myself & I, and is about battling mental health issues, the toll they take on yourself and the people around you. Singer Freeman seems to reach within himself to find tortured lyrical genius Layne Staley, saying “You don’t know what you need – you just know that you need it right now.”
The song creeps on precariously for the first two minutes, as Freeman sings about struggling with anxieties and how to deal with them. I’m sure we’ve all felt that during the pandemic, and I think the band wanted to release this one to help their fans relate with the struggles we all go through.
Just after the two minute mark, Jacob kicks the distortion on his guitar and the song thrusts into overdrive, as Freeman bellows “I don’t know which is worse – being blessed or being cursed – it all feels the same to me – it gets harder to breathe – it’s even harder to be me, myself and I.” The song continues to pound through, giving birth to a breakdown that would make for a kick-ass moshpit, once we’re allowed to have those again.
All in all, it’s a solid track that again shows that the band isn’t afraid to experiment with different sounds and tones. In spite of all the moving pieces that eventually come to fruition, the track isn’t terribly busy or overwhelming, instead garnering its full head of steam from the cohesion of the four members in tandem.
If you like what you hear, you can find more from the band here.