Let’s start with a pun: Significantly, there’s no actual song on the hard-rocking Atlanta indie band Blueburst’s debut album Significance with that title. Yet from the purposeful and edgy guitar riffs and solos, hard driving melodies and reflective and forward minded lyrics, it’s clear that 50-year-old founder Craig Douglas Miller, his legendary creative partner in crime/guitarist Marty Willson-Piper (The Church, Noctorum, All About Eve) and their powerhouse rhythm section cohorts, it’s clear they are all in on this, creative impactful songs that are all seeking (and constantly achieving) significance.
Besides maybe chicks, that’s what all folks that aspire to be professional musicians seek. Miller got close with his 90s band The Reach, but when major label interest (the only game changer in town in that era) didn’t pan out, he went AWOL from his musical dreams for 20 years, experiencing untreated clinical depression, writer’s block, drinking, you name it.
Then a musical angel appeared in the form of Willson-Piper, telling him to dust off his middle age blues and start rocking with meaning before it was too late. The result, Blueburst (named after the finish of his favorite axe) and the nine songs of Significance, all fiery and blistering crunchy yet super jangling representations of a dream resurrected after burial in the hard rockin’ alternative 90s.
The band paved the way for the album with four lead singles, any of which serve as powerhouse entry points into the full experience. Exploding like a hard-chugging, sarcasm and anger filled bomb, The first, “Vanish” finds Miller trying to make uneasy piece with his past lack of triumph, admitting “There’s no pot of gold for sticking out another year” and “I’m not strong enough to carry…” The most recent drop, the lyrical, mid-tempo gem “Senseless,” offers the perfect balance between the haunting of past regrets, an assertation that “I want a do-over” and lines that offer the perfect mantra for a newly redetermined artist: “I’m not beaten yet. . .I’m not done dreaming yet.”
In the middle was the hard-driving, guitar heavy wall of sounder “Supernova,” offering a reminder that “No one gets out alive, no one gets any more time” and Miller’s ongoing mission statement that should inspire any rocker who once gave it up: “I don’t want to die thinking melancholy beat me/I want to put memories in my head.”
The hard-rumbling rocker “Amplify Me” is a corollary to that, a cry out to the universe that “I need more power, need more sway/I need to crash this endless gray” and the desire that someone comes along to amplify him and make his life one of significance after all. All fantastic messaging, but there’s more. Blueburst’s other single – which will be a bonus track on the CD version – is a dark, coolly meditational twist on The Clash’s legendary “Train in Vain.”