Review – Blacklist – The Shape (Single)

Paul checks out the new single by our pals from Blackpool…

Let’s get the artwork for The Shape out of the way immediately because if you saw this in a record store back in the 1980s when you often bought an album based on the cover, this would be languishing in the bargain bins for time eternal. So, close your eyes and open the listening equipment to absorb possibly the most ambitious and dare I say, progressive piece of work that the Blackpool quartet have released. 

It retains all the aggression that the band have established as their own over the past few years, but this feels a more mature, expansive piece of work. The intro with audio clips adds to the overall eerie and sinister feel, which runs throughout the song. In parts its reliant on a more rudimentary thrash feel, but where the band move into more exploratory passages it really expands. There’s plenty to unpack and even on repeated listens, more and more different elements are appearing. I like music that keeps you guessing and whilst there are options for heads down frantic thrashing, Blacklist have produced something far outside the usual thrash fare that we are often served. 

Technically, there is much to enjoy. The drumming is relentless, the guitar work layered and intricate, whilst Tyler Larkin’s gruff vocals remain essential to the core sound of the band. It’s an interesting change of direction which I enjoyed. The thrash roots are firmly attached, but there is a little inkling of development which is vital for any band to progress and develop.

The Shape is out Friday, pre-save HERE

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