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The Blinders, Columbia - album review

By Leigh Sanders | Music | Published:

Hype is the biggest killer of new releases - more than the artwork, more than the music itself.

The Columbia cover

An album can be alright or actually pretty good, but because we have been led to believe it is the second coming of Sgt. Pepper's it can never ever hope to live up to such expectations.

In some ways it is even harder with a debut than the sophomore record. Because people don't necessarily know you, they can let the hyperbole and love-ins on social media and fan blogs take their expectations to new levels.

So it is beautiful, absolutely wonderful when a record lands that lives up to such talk.

The Blinders' career could have been ruined before it had even begun. People hearing Columbia, thinking '...oh', and then never considering them again.

The Blinders are a Mancunian three-piece

But it is impossible not to be sucked into this scary world of slithering bass, straight-for-the-throat guitars and Thomas Haywood's cool without being an annoying snob popular cultural references.

The deliciously snarling guitars that pave the way of Et Tu and then again on the outro to Brutus while Haywood screams 'Et tu, Brute?' over the top are the stuff of genius. This isn't songwriting, this is atmospheric musical theatre.

Then there's the equally gritty Brave New World - referencing Aldous Huxley's brilliant dystopian novel. It's a rollercoaster through the modern and the retro, warning us from start to finish not to take life at face value.

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These guys are a delightful little three-piece who have been garnering rave reviews for their shows everywhere - especially with Haywood daubed in facepaint in his on-stage persona of Johnny Dream.

It's easy to see how when the punk auras of yesteryear that reverberate through Hate Song and those Kasabian-esque vocals on I Can't Breathe are leading their audiences into a frenzy.

There's very little to skip on this, but perhaps a little less reliance on the big indie rocking behemoths of the 00s would see them grow into a beast truly their own.

But as starts go, it's magnificent. Hell, we can't wait to see what else they've got planned.

Rating: 8/10

The Blinders are set to rock Birmingham's The Castle & Falcon on October 23

Leigh Sanders

By Leigh Sanders
@LSanders_Star

Senior sub editor for the MNA portfolio and entertainments writer leaning towards features and reviews. Get releases to me at leigh.sanders@expressandstar.co.uk

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