Blacklisters - BLCKLSTRS
Since I'm a huge fan of Unsane, Helmet, The Jeus Lizard and Dazzling Killmen, it wasn't much of a stretch to figure that I was going to be into what these Leedsians are doing musically. What I didn't expect though, was that I was going to be completely friggin' floored by it. But, damn this album is sweet! It's one of those grating, jaggedly constructed pieces, where we get enough 'rock' structure, fucked up time signatures and repetitive staccato riffs, laden with noises and feedback to sate the Helmet-lover in us, but also tons of dissonant, wandering guitar 'melodies' ontop of massive basslines along with lots of unhinged, drunken, mic-half-way-rammed-down-his-throat David Yow-esque vocals. In fact the vocals are a huge part of why I like this band so much; they're as varied and as brazenly in your face as the rest of the music. I fucking love the screams on the chorus of opener Clubfoot By Kasabian, which is, possibly, the most vicious, energetic rock song I've heard this year, with a distinctly grungy quality that reminds me of Handsome for some weird reason. Being labelled a noise rock band you'd think these guys would steer clear of any sort of melodic elements but in fact they do incorporate loads of melody into their music, but they do so more along the lines of bands like, say, Nomeansno or some of the post-punk, industrial rock bands that came in the wake of Ministry's intitial success in the late eighties (think Lead Into Gold, Pigface, Chris Connelly's solo work etc), where the melodies are darker, colder or, simply, more 'gothy', if you wish. One thing that makes Blacklisters such a blisteringly entertaining band is the complete unpredictability of their songs. With little or no nudging -nor warning- they suddenly veer off into Whisky Tango Foxtrot-territory, where they construct these weirdly balanced structures, add oddball vocal parts and angular melodic patterns that shouldn't work together - like your grandma's over-sized dentures that shouldn't fit in your mouth but somehow do anyway. But it's not all goofiness and hey-look-at-me-my-dick-is-hanging-out-my-pants kind of music, where the silliness and eccentricities of the music become an obstacles to enjoying it. There's still enough of a solid 'proper' musical backbone to this records to make it a solid rock album . But it's also plainly obvious these guys don't really care about rules about what 'works' and what doesn't. Which is when the magic often happens in music. Free your mind and your ass will follow and all that. But, enough with the words! Go here to listen/buy/download.