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Album Review: Blowouts – A Veteran of Sorts

Blowouts
A Veteran of Sorts
Release Date: 23rd October 2015

Plymouth act Blowouts have spent the past 18 months hiding away in order to write, record and perfect their debut album and now it has been released, they have burst back on the music scene in style. This first release from them brings forward a new sound that really celebrates their influences including everything from Brand New to The Cure. Already a big name locally and having played on BBC Introducing regularly, the band are now keen to get their music out to fresh ears and they think this album is the perfect way to do just that.

We open with ‘Stop Loss Policy’ and its slow, steady guitar, a tribal-esque beat is added along with a rock vocal full of grit. When it comes to the choruses they are fast paced and heavy changing the somewhat menial tone to something difficult to ignore. Next up is title track ‘A Veteran Of Sorts’, fast paced and enticing from the off with chugging guitar lines and pounding drums backing up shouted vocals that speak of bad times and the after effects from sad memories to emotional scars.

Focusing more on melody, ‘On A Roll’ features high pitched guitar that weaves its way around melancholy vocals. Again, choruses are where things truly pick up as drums are thrashed, cymbals are crashed and guitars are made to shriek, chug and harmonise. While ‘Peace Talks’ is mainly made up of a commanding vocal and short chugging guitars, dominating in the verses and cooperating with rhythmical drums and melodies in the choruses.

Intermittent guitar chugs and hard hit drums backed up by chaotic cymbals on ‘Leading Lady’ producing jumpy track that never really settles as even in the choruses, the frantic nature still leaves you slightly on edge listening to this. On the opposite end of the scale, we have ‘We’re Safe In Here’ with calm, flowing guitar chords that let themselves do the talking in their most basic form. Subdued vocals sit on top of them, taking nothing away adding to the almost serene atmosphere.

Pounding drums and cymbal hits open ‘Lost At Sea’ with a brisk pace and good rhythm. Though there is an underlying indie sounding building up from the guitar quickly changing tone when the verses kick in becoming a more high-pitched yo-yoing riff. Rapid guitar riffs jump between chords with ease and a hammering drum beat are prominent throughout the entirety of short, instrumental track ‘237’, while a great, deep bass line gets its moment to shine in the middle of this anarchic track.

‘Hospital Beds’ is a much calmer track with softly strummed, flowing guitar opening before everything kicks in with shrieking riffs and a tumultuous rhythm section. The use of more tranquil sounds on this one is a nice respite from all the chaos that has come before.

Final track ‘Storm Chaser’ opens with swaying melodies from plucked guitar strings and a steady rhythm created by an intermittent drum hit. Again, the relaxed atmosphere is a nice change from the fast paced nature of previous tracks and the stepback, in terms of tempo and volume, give the band the chance to showcase their talents more with the focus on the sparse sounds, their good execution and the lyrical quality on offer from the band’s storytelling. A good choice for them to end their debut on.

Though this is a good album in parts and there is some real promise here from the guys, I really think that they may have drawn out this album a little bit too much. A 5-6 track EP would have better suited them as with this longer format some of the songs seem to blend into one creating a slightly jumbled and somewhat fractured album.

Check out title track from the EP ‘A Veteran of Sorts’ below:

To find out more about Blowouts visit their Bandcamp page, their Facebook page or you can follow them on Twitter – @blowoutsband

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