By The Blackout
'Hope' is the third studio album from Welsh rockers The Blackout. It is set to catapult the band into stardom and show just why they are the best in town.
'Hope' is a unique album, as it was funded by pledge music, a website which allows fans to donate money to their favourite artist's new project and in return get items like spending the day with the band at a rehearsal or signed albums. This venture was not without critique, but The Blackout have survived the experience, and have made the best album of their career using it.
1. Ambition Is Critical
With the opening guitar riffs, this song assaults you from the off and sets the mood for the whole album, with energy that oozes out of the song. This track was released as a free download, as a taste of what was to come. 'Ambition...' put it out to the world that The Blackout was back with the spitting lyrics of Sean smith "Is it good being you? Its f**king great being me!" forcing themselves onto you. Good opening, and pitch for what has been claimed as "album of the year" by many.
2. Never By Your Side
Bouncy, head nodding song with screams that keep the listener's attention from the opening. In the previous albums, there were screams a plenty, and this is no exception. Smith shrieks over the electrifying melody as Butler sings over the top of the raucous number.
3. Higher and higher
The first single taken from the 3rd album packs a punch. Full of rocking melodies and bouncy lyrics, this track has gained commercial success already from the likes of Radio One, bagging a spot firmly on the daytime playlist. At first listen this is a typical rock sound, with a catchy chorus and big guitars. Then rapper Hyro Da Hero explodes into a rap and makes the track an unforgettable nu-metal combo. This is Brilliant.
4. Hope (Scream it out loud)
With the album title, there come a variety definitions and connotations. This song explains the title perfectly "Hope is all have and all we've ever know". Need I say more? With soulful lyrics by singer Gavin Butler, this is a stand out track for the album.
5. This is our Time
Shouting choruses and fuelled with testosterone this song has the force of rock anthem which one can picture live already. Catchy beats and sing-a-long lines are what The Blackout are all about, and this is no exception.
6. The Last Goodbye
A slower paced song than its previous siblings, 'The Last Goodbye' is enough for the listener to shed a tear, to match the heartfelt lyrics. If you are of an emotional position, get ready to feel entranced with this song.
7. No more waiting
'No More Waiting,' has a heavy bass line to open with and Smith's shrieks to follow. A swaying along number that will have you humming along, even if you don't know the words, as the song grabs control. "Wake up" screams out towards the end and this catchy number really will do just that.
8. The Devil Inside
The guitars assault in full force from the beginning. Heavy, packs a punch and by far my favourite of the album. 'The Devil Inside' is a song full of charisma with a bite of catchy hooks that will leave you singing at the top of your lungs by the end of it and jumping all around to match. 'The Devil Inside' is amazing.
9. You're not alone
Soft chords and smooth lyrics start the song, and continue through, this slower paced track. The voice of Sean echo's Gavin's lyrics as 'You're Not Alone' progresses in this head bopping number. The repetitive chorus of the songs title gives it a poppy feel.
10. Keep On Moving
Strumming the chords of the guitar and tapping drums set the mood of 'Keep On Moving's melodic charms. This is another song that by the third chorus I am singing along with on the first listen. Beautiful lyrics and music to match is a welcome break from the heaviness, for now at least.
11. The Storm
As the last track starts, it is still full of the energy which has been felt throughout. The song gives the feeling of longing for a love back at home by the singers, who are in unison singing alongside each other on 'The Storm.' "Don't tear us apart" is chanted by Sean and Gavin at the break of the song, which shows a more melodic side to the album, rather than the head banging. However, this is by no means a slow song.
As the album chords close, and no zombie reference in sight, it's a relief to know the Merthyr boys never gave up on this, when the going got tough last year. It's clear to hear the South Wales' sextet have grown up from their previous albums, which is an excellent progression.
Scrumtrulescent, from the urban dictionary would be the perfect word to describe 'Hope.' However, maybe the oxford dictionary definition sums it up better "Hope is the desire for something to happen" and for The Blackout this is it. This anethemic album will make The Blackout known throughout the UK, maybe the world with 'Hope,' as hope is much needed in the world right now.
'Hope' is out 4th April 2011. The Blackout are on a headline tour across the UK now check out www.theblackout.net for more information.