Blind Zero

Luna Park

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If there ever was a doubt that U2 are the Beatles for a new generation, Blind Zero are here to dispel it, doing a dead-on representation of Bono and the gang on Luna Park, and coloring it with elements of other bands that were themselves influenced by the Irish band, such as Coldplay or post-grunge rockers -- in other words, being completely engulfed by their mentors' shadow. Luckily, they produce some good music in the process -- good enough, in fact, to overlook the embarrassing homage that teeters on the brink of ripoff. The music on Luna Park is full of delay- and reverb-filled guitar textures, backed by angelic synths, strewn upon midtempo but adrenaline-pumping rhythms and with the vocals soaring above -- in other words, everything for a larger-than-life effect. The singer is actually not as powerful as Bono -- it probably comes with self-worth -- but the fact that he sounds like the frontman of Latvia's Brainstorm, another bunch of U2 devotees, is even more appropriate. The songs use some pianos here (to speak of Coldplay) and some louder guitars there to do the whole dramatic buildup thing, and in a couple of places ("Hanging Wall") slow down almost to a ballad, and a good one at that (they should have explored that more, especially with that Marillion-like shift in the latter part of the song), but they generally stick to the same blueprint, more concerned with producing the riveting emotional effect they go for than with novelty. And by the fourth song it begins to seem like a credo, not a lack of inventiveness -- does it really matter who came up with this musical style, as long as it can make the audience feel something the band wants them to feel? The logic has its flaws, but those who agree, or simply like U2-styled music, will want to give Luna Park a spin.

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