Reminds us of: Kasabian, Arctic Monkeys, Oasis, David Bowie, T-Rex, Bob Dylan, The Jam, The Redskins.
Some bands are destined for stardom: the Blinders are one of them.
Quite a bold statement but I remember hearing ‘I bet you look good on the dance floor’ and ‘Shaker Maker’ and thinking the same, so I don’t think I’m too far off the mark. In fairness, this isn’t too venturesome a claim really given that that they’ve already had a top 20 album, one of their songs (Brave New World) used for a betting advert shown at half time of most premier league matches this season, and they have developed a sizeable following.
A three piece originally from Doncaster, the Blinders make music that is forceful, well-crafted and politically aware. In a recent interview with John Robb (which is well worth listening to or downloading) they cite musical influences such as Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, David Bowie and Bob Dylan, alongside more contemporaneous artists like the Arctic Monkeys and Kasabian. It’s hard to believe that an album like ‘Columbia’, which was released in September last year was made by three guys aged between 20 and 21 at the time, such is its maturity. Columbia is a remarkable record, with Gavin Monaghan’s excellent production really coming to the fore.
Columbia is named after the utopia that Charles Manson promised his family – perhaps a metaphor for the utopia that Donald Trump promised his own followers, inflated Brexit claims as well as the general premise that seems to exist in politics today that you can outright lie about most things and face no consequence. That certainly seems to be the case with songs like L'etat C'est Moi (I am the state, a subject’s all you are…I’ve got divine right) and Brave New World (‘in come, the Idiot King, he build a wall, and he built it high But did you know that it's made out of pie?).
Columbia has an almost film like structure – Gotta Get Through kicks off the album, designed to make you sit up and pay attention and very reminiscent of Miserlou from Pulp Fiction. The next five tracks provide the exposition – social commentary, frustration and contempt on matters such as police brutality (I Can't Breathe Blues) before culminating in despair with the Dylan-esque Ballad of Winston Smith. The album shifts into its turning point, beginning with Et Tu and concluding with latest single Rat in a Cage, At this point hope is restored and defiance prevails, before the reflective closer Orbit comes along, providing the denouement. All in all it’s a powerful album that gets better with each listen.
By all accounts they are well on their way to completing the second album, and they aim to take on new directions with their music. It will be interesting to see how they develop, and hopefully they will resist the pressure to compromise and dilute their music that bands on the up seem to face.