Brash, noisy, and sonically blistering, Blacklisters full-length release ‘BLKLSTRS’ is reminiscent of so many of the great hardcore bands of the late 80’s and early 90’s, the post-rock genius of Fugazi and peers, the thrashy Millennials like KONG and Hawk Eyes (a personal favorite!). While nothing herein is groundbreaking or revolutionary, this album’s visceral appeal is undeniable.
Starting off a little tongue in cheek, ‘Clubfoot By Kasabian’ (which is not actually a cover of ‘Clubfoot’ by Kasabian, or anything related to that tune at all), this tune was named this way due to the amount of people who, upon hearing the title, responded, ‘Oh, like Kasabian’s song?’ or something like that. Definitely NOT the Kasabian song, this tune has tortured screams, the tell-tale ‘AM Radio Speaker’ effect, tinny small voice over bombastic bass and drums. It’s a great start to this record, which stays strong throughout.
Next up is ‘Swords’, which was released in 2011 as a sort of single/preview. I joined their mailing list and got the single as a perquisite! This song has a great, raging and roiling feel, a completely rudimentary yet kickass bass line, and more of the emotionally charged screams. It also has a chorus and pronounced song structure, which is like when someone on TV pretends to suck at roller skating: You actually have to know what you’re doing to pretend you don’t know what you’re doing. Clear as mud? Fuck it, listen to the tune anyway. It is sick in an early-Soundgarden way.
‘Nice Garden’ is more of a brooding, slow-burner, with the time-honoured ‘loud less loud loud again’ song format. Next is ‘OK47’, picking back up the tempo a bit, replete with wailing feedback and your now-expected machine-gunning rhythm section. Both solid tunes to be sure.
The Coup-de-Etat of song titles, of all times, is next up; ‘I Can Confirm That Ruth Abigail Holmes Is Not Dead and Is Planning To Make a Movie About Her Life’ is a noisy ode to some woman. This song is my favorite by far on this album, on title and screaming in the song alone. The tune is very hardcore punk and Fugazi, so therefore is already okay in my book.
In the interest of keeping your interest, the last song I will mention specifically is ‘Ask Yourself a Question If The Answer Is Go Fuck Yourself’, which was a contender for best song title ever, anywhere as well. With an irregular time sig, and Doom-y bass lines, this tune sounds like a horror movie soundtrack and just rips. The guitar in it is simple, I think, but effective over the full-voiced singing (no more small speaker). Plus, the lyrics are great.
So, as an existing, rebid fanboy of Blacklisters, a loyal Twitterite and ‘Friend’ on Facebook, I am extremely pleased that this long-player is a successful effort, with something for any fan of post-punk and noise rock. I am looking forward to more from Blacklisters, and hopefully more of the same. Buy it!