The Blackout Argument


Written by: TL on 23/01/2009 13:53:06

In the borderlands between emocore and melodic hardcore can be found Munich, Germany-based The Blackout Argument, another hopeful name on Lifeforce's roster, who on their sophomore album "Remedies" claim to cater to the needs of fans of Comeback Kid, Boysetsfire, Rise Against, Evergreen Terrace and This Is Hell. On paper that's quite impressive I suppose, but in reality, I'm only willing to agree with the first two.

Instrumentally, TBA sound almost like a carbon copy of Comeback Kid and Boysetsfire. Simple power-chorded melody resting upon dramatic drumming is the order of the day for all fourteen tracks on offer - occasional mosh-friendly passages included. While it's nothing you haven't heard before, it still works out alright and it's not where the band have their problem. Their problem is with their vocalist. In my ears the dude sounds similar to Shane Told or Davey Havok (Silverstein/AFI) on some of those bands' early albums, and people in the know will recognize that as everything but an asset to a band. His screaming is far from impressive either, but at least it serves as a welcome diversion from his clean wailing, which left to go on for too long is simply ugly to listen to. This guy seems to be pretty much unable to sustain a note, let alone pronouncing words in a manner that can be deciphered by the human ear.

Apart from that, I think the band have an intention that is commendable when they opt to pack all of fourteen tracks onto their album, giving fans as much material as possible. It just still doesn't pay off for them when their songs are similar in the 'totally forget which one you're listening to' kind of way. After more than a handful of listens I've tried to pick out two of them for you to see in the download section, but really I wouldn't recognize any of the songs if I heard them later on - hell, I doubt I'd even recognize the band. Guess that goes to say something about how strong an identity TBA manage to establish through their sound.

Supposedly you could say that the band has something of a saving grace in the amount of conviction you can feel in their music, as "Remedies" leaves me with no doubt that TBA have all the best intentions, if not the skills to put their musical message out there. That and their at least decent melodicore groove would net them around a 6, but then I have to subtract a good deal for the flat out shitty vocal work and the almost total lack of originality - Also because I have a hard time seeing who would like this; Emo kids would have a thousand catchier alternatives and hardcore fans would be prone to find the melodies and the wailing vocals much too whimpy for their moshing needs.

Download: Dead But So Alive (Wild Oat), Vampire Searching For Some Light (Larch),
For The Fans Of: Comeback Kid, Boysetsfire, Old Silverstein/Funeral For A Friend

Release Date 09.02.2009

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