They called the album We are Here, and who could argue? There they are. Marking their arrival by means of their self-released debut full-length on Oct. 25, Blackout — who hail from a small town on the Eastern Seaboard called Brooklyn (I think that’s how it’s spelled) — show up with big riffs, big stomp, and underpinnings of quirk that give their unabashed tonal weight a sense that’s both lighthearted in not taking itself too seriously and a huge part of what makes the album overall so effective. Copping influence from stoner heavyweights like the Melvins and Sleep — easy comparisons to make, but true all the same — Blackout might read on the surface like Riffy Brand X, but there’s more to We are Here than sonic redundancies and tonal largesse.
Not to understate the tonal largesse — both guitarist/vocalist Christian Gordy and bassist Justin Sherrell (also drums in Bezoar) proffer much viscosity in line with the swing of Taryn Waldman‘s drums – but with the weirdo compression on Gordy‘s vocals throughout the album, subtle melody and boogie of a song like “Seven,” as much as they’re setting up beach chairs in the pool of distortion they’ve crafted, Blackout haven’t neglected to give an individual spin to otherwise familiar elements. Rounding out with the heavy-hoofed march of “Seven,” We are Here gives the impression that Blackout are interested in and working at coming into their own sound-wise. Fortunately for all parties involved save perhaps eardrums, they save room for a noisy freakout at the end.
The early cut “Amnesia” may be short at 3:19 compared to some of what surrounds it, but the rush the trio creates across that span rings out like the echoes off a holy mountain, and it’s clear that whatever one might recognize in their approach, Blackout couple their unabashed stonerly crunch with idiosyncratic purpose. We are Here is an easy record to dig for the already converted, but its greatest strength lies in off-kilter moments like “Smoker” and “Indian,” which show this personality and burgeoning affinity for strangeness but never fail to serve the song and the album overall, striking a balance of indulgence and accessibility that’s a lot harder to nail than it might seem.
It’s a good ‘un, and both times I’ve had the chance to see Blackout live (reviews here and here), they’ve impressed, so I’m thrilled today to be hosting the premiere of “Amnesia” in advance of the release of We are Here later this month. Please find it on the player below and please enjoy:
Here is the Music Player. You need to installl flash player to show this cool thing!
Blackout‘s We are Here will be available on Oct. 25. More info and music at the links below.
Tags: Blackout, Blackout We are Here, Brooklyn, New York City, Unsigned bands, We are Here