Something wicked is seeping through the water supply in Leeds. It’s the sounds of a million souls in anger over the muck wrapped in cellophane in the Top 40 rack in a million album stores that have blinded jet black eyes in the skies of Nebraska.
What is it that is fuelling so many heavy bands? It’s a discussion for another day, as today is when speak about Blacklisters brutal (but funny) album, Blklstrs. A quick peek of the album will show you that the band has a big sense of humour, with puns (‘ok47’, ‘Mouthpeace’), streams of consciousness rivalling Fiona Apple (‘I can confirm that Ruth Abigail Holmes is not dead and is planning to make a movie about her life’) and prolonged bursts of fun mixed with attitude (‘Ask yourself a question if the answer is fuck you’).
It’s not all about the ace titles, because this band, just like Minus the Bear, have the music skills to back up (or get away with) those titles. Not comparing the bands in a musical style (different genres? try different universes), just in how they pull off great titles with great music.
From the get go (‘Clubfoot by Kasabian’, one from last year’s split), you know the band whips out a loud, whispering threat, with the hard as marl guitar & bass combo held together by the drums and the occasional fit of shouting that hides some whimpering moments. Is it the soundtrack to a mental breakdown? Is it intense? Is it something you’d listen to again? Yes x3. This hard with moments of whispered cries is done again quite well in ‘I can confirm…’), that adds a droning guitar rant in the middle.
‘Nice Garden’ is a mean one, love the building atmosphere, creeping step by step to the rhythm of that bass, a bass that is let loose in the fantastic ‘ok47’. Equally strong is ‘Mouthpeace’, sort of going into Deftones territories (minus Chino Moreno‘s sexy belly, though). ‘Hero of China’ and ‘Trickfuck’ are on the speedier side of heavy. Love the latter one to bits.
Now, although the album is quite good, there are two (2) tracks that are easily the strongest punches (in both musical and emotional senses). First is the one that I’m nicking as a Facebook status: ‘Ask yourself a question if the answer is go fuck yourself’. Menacing and slow, the track relishes the pace, slowly creeping around, an angry predator looking for prey. It’s not a hungry predator, it’s out for blood, doesn’t matte if it is its own. The other track that really shows what Blacklisters can do is ‘Shush’. An instrumental beast clocking 5+ minutes, it shows they can do heavy both on first and fifth gear.
Blklstrs, a solid punch. That is all you need to know.
Words: Sam J. Valdés López