The bio for Blivit makes note of the band’s lack of guitars—which, of course, is fine. There are plenty of bands that get by without them. But every song on Unhand the World has what appears to be a guitar in it. In reality, it’s singer/keyboardist Jeremy Dyen setting his machine to a particularly guitarish tone. Why go out of your way to make your keyboards sound like guitars? If you’re ideologically opposed to putting one on your record, that’s fine—but find a different tone for your Casio, for Christ’s sake.
Unhand the World escapes the listener directly after hearing it, a bad omen for this batch of alt.rock bar-band filler. Sounding like a clueless Ted Leo fronting an average college band, Blivit’s sound is vague, unfocused, and more than slightly tired. Sadly, this album is simply unlistenable. It bores within the first 15 seconds. Blivit isn’t a bad band per-se, but Unhand the World simply wallows in its inability to be (or even fake being) energetic and driven.
There’s a lack of solid production ethos on Unhand the World—everything sounds flat, but instead of holding a fuzzy lo-fi charm, the album sounds more like a garage-recording gone wrong. And though the band’s other credits are reputable (opening for Weezer and The Roots, Dyen appears on John Legend’s new Get Lifted), Blivit underlines the damage that can happen when studio musicians get ahead of themselves and try to be rock stars.