The Blackout

The Best In Town

Written by: TL on 15/06/2009 13:44:26

I remember arguing with myself for quite a while over what to think of the first The Blackout album, in the end settling on the perception that it was a damn entertaining record even for its superficiality, and I graded it accordingly with a solid eight. In retrospect it was maybe one of the smaller eigth's I've given in my time, but I stand by it nonetheless, if for nothing else then simply for hoping that the grade encourages some readers to go and see one of the band's shows. You see, this is a band that is MADE for live appearances. Everything about them is built for explosive performances. Just listen to their new album "The Best In Town" if you don't believe me.

Stylistically, precious little have changed since "We Are The Dynamite". The Blackout are still what I'd call the Def Leppard of modern party-rock/metal/core, penning simple yet anthemic barnstormers with a shamelessness that rivals Lostprophets, Escape The Fate and Papa Roach. The former two of which they also sound the most like. To make sure that there is never a moment of breathing space for the listener, The Blackout includes two lead vocalists in Sean Smith and Gavin Butler, who constantly exchange both screams and clean vocals, none of them impressing as much in skill as they do in energy.

The thing about The Blackout is that, if you're not in the mood to party, they're going to seem like those annoying people around you who always are. There seemingly isn't a serious bone in their musical body, and if you're not already hyped up for a party or a show - maybe having a pint or two in you, then there's a slight chance you could find this a bit.. shallow? It's like the modern day equivalent to ballsy 80'ies hair metal. There's no room for sour expressions or emo lyrics, for that we're meant to be having too much fun. In a live setting, this band makes sure that this is inevitable, but on record, with the visual dimension lacking, you kind of have to adjust your mind yourself to appreciate it.

That being disclaimed though, as I've already alluded to, there's enough shamelessly catchy material on here to keep you singing along stupidly for days. "Children Of The Night"'s choirs go straight to the brain on the first listen, and so does "Save Ourselves (The Warning)" with its shameless (did I use that word already?) "woah-oh" lyrics. "ShutTheFuckUppercut" is the kind of song you will be forcing yourself to like simply because its name is so awesome. "The Fire" will have you screaming along when it breaks down and erupts into a slick solo. In fact, every song on offer has got something to be remembered for, and while this album in general doesn't come at you as intensely as the first one, it's got even more catchy parts than its predecessor. So I might take some heat for this, and granted I am only barely awarding it with the grade I have in mind, but still, there's just no way to award this level of effiency with any less. You can argue that there's a severe lack of depth if you like, but depth was never the point with this band, the point was to make you sing along to catchy tunes and to write stuff that kicks ass live. Bearing that in mind could this album be much more successful? I don't think so, and if you've seen The Blackout live, you should be inclined to agree. It's pop music and it's good for what it is.


Download: Children Of The Night, Save Ourselves (The Warning)
For The Fans Of: Escape The Fate, Lostprophets, Papa Roach

Release Date 02.05.2009

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