By The Blackout
The Blackout have never claimed to be reinventing the wheel. Most of the criticism levelled at the valley boys are usually due to their lack of originality. Yet in today's over populated musical climate, especially within the rock genre, being new and different is an incredibly arduous task. The Blackout aren't being new, they aren't being different, and they aren't trying to be clever. What they are doing however with monumentous ease is developing a solid fan-base, picking the right tours and support slots and most of all writing good, solid rock music. It's in that realm where The Blackout are most comfortable.
Their debut mini album opens with massive live favourite "I'm a Riot? You're a F**king Riot!", a body slamming beast of a song with call and response vocals and a massive screamed breakdown. The pace doesn't let up for debut single "Hard Slammin" as the massive intro riff hurtles around a tightly coiled drum track before exploding into the frantic chorus. This is where the band excels most, massive songs, huge hooks and generally anything big sounding is welcome here. Next track "Murder in the Make-Believe Ball Room" provides another highlight, difficult when you consider how few low points there actually are on this release. "Its High Tide Baby" slows the pace a little, favouring angelic vocals and melody to the schizophrenic riffage of previous tracks. A guest spot on vocals from Ian Watkins (of Lostprophets) will endear the band to the mainstream, not that they need any help anyway. "You and Your Friends Vs Me and the Revolution" and "Fashion Conscious Suicide" round things of in emphatic style. The latter begins with a double tapped intro and hurtles through metallic melodic rock whilst the former dances around a frightening tremolo guitar line.
The bottom line here is that The Blackout are all about fun. They love what they're doing, their fan-base is growing at an alarming rate and they are putting smiles on faces wherever they go. So what if they're not terribly original, the main thing here is that they are a great band with great songs, and long may they continue.