Blag’ard – [Album]

Monday, 27 August 2012

To paraphrase an old Saturday Night Live character, “Hey – remember the Nineties?”

The Nineties were an unusual decade; pop and rock once again started to come awfully close to being the same thing for the first time in years and a gritty, grimy independent release which had been made on a nothing budget had a chance to be the badge of honor that fans wore wore because they found it before “the next big thing” broke through and conquered the world. It was a pretty cool time – and it has come back to life on Fresh Candy, the new album by Blag'ard.

From top to bottom and back to front, Fresh Candy smacks of work made modestly in the Nineties; the artwork on the front and back covers is cheesy and misogynist, the song-titles listed are pretty formulaic and the color scheme is eye-catching only because it is incredibly garish. It's not pretty – but as soon as the record starts to play, listeners will begin to remember how good some of those modestly made albums could be. Right from the beginning of “Candy Town,” the embryonic days of bands who would eventually become royalty like Local H and Kings Of Leon growl miserably and muffled out of Joe Taylor's guitar, Adam Brinson's drums and the vocals supplied by both. It's hard to not want to fall right back into that old mindset right there, but the band keeps it up and going into “Rusted Chrome” (forget how bad the title is, Taylor's vocal melody and lines like “If you could shout into the night/ and it would carry on forever/ like a star's ancient light/ then maybe I would care” are worth the price of admission) just to prove that the band isn't likely to let this idea go.

From right there, with little to no effort on their part at all, Blag'ard will have listeners eating out of their hands – but they're only getting warmed up.

From there, songs like “Pony Boy,” “Down South,” “Integrity” and “Scape” keep the alt-rock energy flowing forth straight and true and the band really concentrates on presenting their finest performances. They do a pretty good job at it; the absence of a production value means the band has nowhere to hide so they're careful not to overreach or produce anything they couldn't pull off onstage with just one guitar, one drum kit and two voices. That the band seems to know their limitations on this record is refreshing, and listeners will find themselves starting to appreciate the fact that the band seems content to reside in their box, for now.



Fresh Candy
will be released on October 9, 2012. Keep watching here for when the pre-order becomes available.

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