After hearing a few of The Blinders’ songs on playlists and through social media in recent months, I was excited to see how they measured up on stage, and suffice to say I was not disappointed.
The band stepped on stage sporting heavy black eye makeup, teetering precariously on the line between edgy and Kiss tribute act. With this said, the black makeup and clothes creates an intensity that only paralleled their heavy, yet well-polished sound.
The songs are in part reminiscent of late 70’s noise punk, with droning riffs and beat signatures, yet possess a sharpness that reminds me of more modern punk and psych-rock. It is clear that the band take inspiration from other similar acts such as Brighton act The Wytches, and their sound is equally as visceral and punchy.
The bellowing drop-tuned bass and guitar licks, accompanied by pounding percussion, reverberated around the small venue in waves each time a new song begun. This intensity was maintained throughout the show, and reached fever pitch when the band slowed down to a 12-bar-blues style bridge, setting a hundred or so feet off tapping.
The highly manipulated wails of the guitar, the slick, yet abrasive rumbling of the bass and the almost tribal rhythmic pounding of the drums made for a hypnotic aesthetic, only matched by the soulful droning of lead singer Thomas Heywood’s politically-charged lyricism.
I couldn’t help but chuckle in despair as lead singer Thomas left the stage after repeating three times “Down with Big Brother”
Speaking of which, the one minor critique I would be inclined to make is that the band may be taking themselves somewhat too seriously. I understand the need for political rhetoric within the music of today, however there is a fine line between political engagement and over-dramatizing one’s sound.
Their style alone speaks for itself as if anything, the stress on referencing politics both overtly and otherwise retracted from the overall effect of the music. I thoroughly enjoyed the performance based on the music and the way the sound affected me, however I couldn’t help but chuckle in despair as lead signer Thomas left the stage after repeating three times “Down with Big Brother”.
All told, the show was all that I could have asked for, in a musical sense, however the band’s attitude and attempts at political commentary did not resonate with me so much.