The Blackout - The Best In Town
Record Label: Epitaph Records
Release Date: May 25th 2009 (EU) & June 23rd 2009 (NA)
In this day and age, finding a simply great rock album, where each and every track is pure rock perfection is a very rare, near impossible delight to behold. Almost every album you come across will have filler tracks - those weak, bland things that leave the listener completely unsatisfied and bored and say nothing about who the band are or what they're trying to say. That certainly isn't the case on the second album, The Best In Town, from Welsh up-and-comers The Blackout.
The Best In Town is an album that goes by the simple mantra of, 'What the listener wants, the listener gets.' The listener will want an interesting, even distribution of screamo and rock with the co-vocals of Sean Smith and Gavin Butler, brilliant lyrical content and talented musicianship.The Best In Town is an album that delivers just that, but if you've already heard any of the singles from the album, you'll already know that. From first track and first single, "STFUppercut", the tone is set for a whirlwind of a record. The pounding guitars and haunting vocals from Smith and Butler immediately let the listener know what this band is all about. There are catchy choruses galore on this album, pounding guitars and drums, complete with tantalizing solos, and the delightfully potent blend of the two contrasting vocals which makes this band stand out from many of the other bands of this genre.
By the third and fifth tracks, "Top Of The World" and "Children Of The Night," the latter being the second single that definitely deserves to be noticed, The Blackout have more than accomplished what they set out to do - improve both their musicality and song writing, whilst still holding the same raw talent that their debut album, We Are The Dynamite, and EP, The Blackout! The Blackout! The Blackout!, first showcased. On The Best In Town, The Blackout never loose their steam, composing brilliant lyrical content and musicality that make them stand out from the crowd. Each track is a killer, keeping the album fluid and interesting as it moves from each track. In fact, it's barely noticeable when one track ends and another begins, making for a smooth listen, and by the ending of the album, it's quite easy to play it again and again. Other intriguing and brilliant tracks are, "I Love Myself and I Wanna Live"' and "This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things". The first pokes fun at the Nirvana track "I Hate Myself and I Wanna Die," but the song's lyrical content never mentions the legendary grunge rockers. The latter,"This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things", features Josh Franceschi the frontman of fellow UK up and comers, You Me At Six, on it's chorus and is probably, for me, the most enjoyable track on the album. For it's excellent lyrics and great showmanship of instruments - as well as featuring one of my favourite bands, You Me At Six, which is always going to be a plus for me - check them out. By the album closer, "We're Going To Hell . . . So Bring the Sunblock," The Blackout will have won over many fans to the genre, including me. I never thought much of post-hardcore or screamo in any form, but having listened and fallen in love with The Blackout's mix of genres, I am positive other virgins to the genre like me will find this album enjoyable - and even count themselves as fans of The Blackout.
All in all, The Best In Town is a thumping riot of a record, a feast for the ears, and an album that demands and deserves far more recognition than it's already receiving. Besides a few brilliant reviews in top UK music magazines, like Kerrang! (5 Stars) and Rock Sound (8/10), the album has not made much of an impact anywhere except in their native UK, which isn't right. For such an excellent record from a brilliant band, that will surely be playing bigger gigs and growing in fans and recognition, why not get in there early and say you liked them before? The Blackout won't stay quiet for long. America, now is your chance: The Blackout are here, why don't you give them a listen?
even though it is an OK album, 84% is far, far too high in my opinion ("it's barely noticeable when one track ends and another begins" - not normally a good thing)
well written review though nonetheless!
I think that's based on opinion. Personally, for me when I don't notice when an albums been played through, when it's been so enjoyable that I haven't stopped and went - What? - as in the dreaded filler tracks, it's a good thing. That's what I meant by it (:
I think my score was based partly on my shock and delight at actually liking this album, because normally I utterly detest anything screamo. I was captivated and mesmerized by the band, because I'd never thought to give them a chance before. Now I know.
Sean Smith makes this band, every interview i read, he cracks me up.
Solid album would give it around 78% in my opinion though.
Yeah, my scoring was pretty outlandish. I've edited it slighly, because I didn't realise how highly I'd given some aspects of the album. None the less, I stand by the fact that I believe it's a sold 80 + album.