One of my favourite films of all time is 24 hour party people. A scene that particularly felt funny and exasperating was when Tony Wilson and Rob Gretton realise that once-gloomsters A Certain Ratio have embraced the tropical beats of sunnier places than Manchester (98% of the rest of the world, if you believe the hype). It might’ve been (allegedly) jarring back in the 80s to hear that sort of stuff peddled by English people, but in these days where electronic barriers are all but demolished, genres are free for all.
Blood Sport, whom we’ve reviewed before in November, are back with their aggressive cocktail of mathcore, tropic tunes and aggrobeat dissonance. 4 tunes, mostly without lyrics, that sway back and forth like the English wind (and you know it’s a fierce motherfucker). ‘Palomar’, the wordiest of all 4, is the perfect choice for an opener: it swaggers with the driving intensity that this band displays live while still maintaining that organic, ivy-like sort of intricacy that their music creates. It never falls into a fully developed drone (although it dips the collective toes quite a few times) and there are enough ideas in every minute to create a whole EP of straight songs.
But you don’t listen to Blood Sport for a straight song, just like you wouldn’t ask Grampa Simpson for a straight answer. Like an old meandering river (or Grampa Simpson) you’ll get songs that ondulate like cosine waves (something fuelling their effects pedals…is it a Memory Man I spy with my ears?). ‘20202016’ melds perfectly with ‘Palomar’, like being the second movement of a classical song. Drumming is always a fun, signature sound of the band and this track is the moment for Mr. Sam Parkin to go and have himself a little batucada.
‘Warm Hammer’. A very Slint (or Chavez if you adore Matt Sweeney…) start feels like a band warming up before a good rehearsal that will feel like cardio. Somehow, the way the vocals are almost undecipherable disembodied voices in the back adds to the unnerving, scary atmosphere. Cracking ending. ‘Ode to Finn and Jake’ as the task of closing this quick chapter in the history of this trio. Breezier and almost cheerful, it clears the palate, so think of it as the lime sorbet after a rich, savoury meal. Love the pedal usage in this one (very spacey like) and the final freakout is just right.
There’s no press release attached to the email I received from the band, but it was mentioned that this EP was recorded in a two day session in December 2011. I personally feel this is the best method of delivery for the music that Blood Sport creates: raw, untampered with, brutally honest and dissonant. Hey, it worked for Neil Young & Pearl Jam‘s Mirrorball, it works here.
Words: Samuel J. Valdés López