Friday, July 24, 2015

CD Review: BLiNDNESS "WRAPPED iN PLASTiC" (Saint Marie Records)

There are a number of reasons to like BLiNDNESS as a band, though of course being blind is still not something I want to be (Though I have horrible vision and need really thick lenses for my glasses) and among them is the music itself.   The songs on "WRAPPED iN PLASTIC" are heavily distorted but fast paced.   If they were slower and more drawn out in ways I'd like to think of them as being shoegaze, but I feel like the pace is just too fast for that idea here.   It's like The Sorry Shop or Presents For Sally in the way that they kind of do fit in with shoegaze but aren't really it in the traditional sense of the word, I suppose.

For me, the music takes me back to 1990-something when I was in the prime of my musical life because I was in my teens and so everything felt so new and amazing to me.   Parts of this remind me of L7 while at other times it can be a blend of The Runaways mixed with that early era Marilyn Manson and, no, that description isn't too far off from L7 anyway.   But this just reminds me of a lot of the music I grew up listening to and still hold dear to myself, such as Elastica, Veruca Salt and PJ Harvey.     I'm not sure if this is particularly dark or not but it could be on "The Crow" soundtrack so I must believe it has a certain sense of darkness to it.

If not headbanging then these songs are at least headbobbing good tunes.    Starts and stops begin "Last One Dies" as we journey through space and the chorus hook of "All your friendships are dropping like flies / What do you do when the last one dies?"   "Sunday Morning" is an easy single if we're looking at the radio and through a nice bass line on "No One Close" there is also a certain amount of that Joan Jett sass on these songs.

Without naming too many names, many of my favorite artists and albums for that matter within the last five years or so have been made possible by some amazing women.    Some of them have been on Saint Marie Records and the ones that haven't include the likes of Metric, The Courtesans, One-Eyed Doll, Polly Scattergood and, well, just look at what has been reviewed so far this year.    The thing is that all of these artists, though different in their own ways, seem to take the same path.    It's as if they're faced with a fork in the road and they all choose to go right, while for whatever reason BLiNDNESS chose to go left.

Don't get me wrong, this doesn't take anything away from any other artist or BLiNDNESS themselves.   It just feels like all of these other albums I've listened to and enjoyed up until now have been from the United States (Though they are from a number of different countries) and then BLiNDNESS is from a different country.   It's not the easiest thing for me to explain about the music and it doesn't make any other music lesser for it, but BLiNDNESS just feels like they're operating on a different plane than everyone else and I love it about them.

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