I know I’m no Sherlock Holmes but even a simple man like me should be able to find some information on the band Blackout. I’ve been all over the internet for hours searching for the merest morsel of information. Sadly, like a Donald Trump brain scan, I couldn’t find a damn thing. No mention of band members, discography, reviews; nothing. Nada.
So, either this will be a very short article or I should concentrate on the music. I am more than happy to concentrate on the music because this album is outstanding.
Hindsight 2020 as an album title is a clever play on words clearly reflecting feelings about that shitty year.
“King of Cool” opens proceedings for Blackout and greets us with a classic AC/DC riff. It doesn’t develop into a rip-off of the legends though. It still has the DC vibe but is more low-slung, and cooler. In fact cool is the word that sums the whole album up. You’ll see that word a lot in this review.
“Dreadlock Mama” is sooooo, well, cool. Unashamedly ZZ Top complete with Gibbons-esque vocals. The guitars come straight from a smokey Texas blues bar, tab end firmly ensconced in the top of the guitar’s neck. Close your eyes and drink it all in, man.
A lament to the modern age comes in the form of the mid-paced but intense “Head of a Pin”. “One-click world”, “the more that we know, the less we believe”, “the bridges all crumble, and walls will appear” all give you a pretty good idea of what’s going on here. There’s also a line about holding ‘President’ Trump accountable. Fingers crossed, eh? It is a beautiful track.
A single acoustic guitar opens up “What Does It Mean”. Said guitar remains only to be accompanied by two vocal performances. Another very deep, intense song.
A cool funky vibe runs through “Pointless” which comments on the futility of life itself. Why are we here at all? “I have no purpose here”. A beautifully smooth Dave Gilmour affected solo just adds to the atmosphere.
After three intense tracks we find relief in “Get to Know Me”, a track pretty much about going out on the town for a few drinks and getting it on. I’d describe it as restrained rock n roll.
“Burn It Up” is a great well-paced melodic rock n roller. It has a very 70s feel but is also reminiscent of 80s UK band Trespass and their track “Live It Up”. This track and “King of Cool” make up the two real rockers on the album.
Blackout rolls out the 70s funk rock vibe again on “Them Days”, resplendent with uber-cool guitar solos. There’s a great jam session feel to the last couple of minutes too. Let it wash over you like a gentle wave.
The finishing track to this superb album is “Wink and a Grin”. Full of atmosphere and intent this is a brilliant way to end proceedings. Acoustic accompaniment and soloing just add to the feel. The introduction of an electric guitar solo builds up the intensity. If anybody is familiar with Dodgy’s “Grassman” from 1995’s Homegrown album you will get the picture.
This is no balls-out rocker to get you in the mood for a Saturday night out. This is an intense, intelligent album cleverly constructed to reflect the feelings of the modern world. Whoever these folks are they have played an absolute blinder.
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