Review: Blood Sport – Axe Laid to the Root

There is something fascinating about the angularity of the music by Blood Sport. By all means a band that iterates endlessly like a Sierpinski triangle, Blood Sport are a musical fractal, weaved layer upon layer, collapsing in an orderly fashion.

Axe Laid to the Root continues to explore their droning afro-beat experiment, a gestalt entity that thrashes around in controlled bursts of energy that delve in a weird and strange land full of guitar, baritone guitar and electronic shoops, all intercalated with desperate vocals. At the centre of this prism it’s a solid rhythmic base, a drummer that never misses a beat and whose absence would unbalance the whole unit. Imagine a tilt-a-whirl losing its centre of gravity: the cars would eventually come loose and fly into the unsuspecting public, the metallic tentacles would torn asunder, goring all the bastards foolish enough to be near when the conflagration happens.

If this sounds apocalyptic, it’s because that is also an integral part of Blood Sport. It always seems like it’s all going to fall apart, but then the equation balances itself out. Chaotic elements, like the ones thrown in ‘Floating in Credit’, feel like oblique happenstances. Sit through it with a disposition to hear something different and you’ll be rewarded. The odd organ-like sounds, the vagrant rants of Nick Potter‘s vocals, Alex Keegan‘s noodling: it all makes sense. The pieces fit. They always do.

Let’s go back to the drumming. Sam Parkin spent a good amount of time in a Samba ensemble and the high energy required to keep the rhythm in said genre comes into play to make Blood Sport‘s distinctive sound a reality. The drumming it’s not only the solid foundation required for the Frank Lloyd Wright structures built by the band’s droning nature, but it’s also a firm anchor for the listener to grasp. “It’s got a nice beat” could be uttered by a person listening to Blood Sport for the first time, and it helps to drag newcomers into the music. The drumming is the honey pot trap. ‘Welcome to the foyer’ mixes a drum machine with Parkin‘s drumming, laying bedrock for the cascading strings to converge and flow uninterrupted.

Throw a stone into the path of any band and you might have that stone thrown back at you. Throw a stone into the path of Blood Sport and you’ll get a 7 minute track about the geochemical properties of said stone. Blood Sport will find the inspiration to spiral out and back into control and Axe Laid to the Root is another slice of their never ending stream of the weird and the wonderful.

Words: Sam J. Valdés López

Blood Sport Tumblr. Soundcloud. Bandcamp. Twitter.

 

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