BLACKBIRD

Live review from Underground Heavy #8:

U-heavy8-0163.jpgSetlist:

1. Meltdown
2. Big Rain
3. So Far Gone
4. Memo
5. Roll to the Break of Dawn

And, finally, to close out the night we had Blackbird; a band that rose from the (sadly seemingly permanent) ashes of the very awesomeThis is Ammunition. Still, three out of four’s better than none, and the very presence of three musicians in the band is reason for hope that something awesome might occur. And is it awesome?

YES!

Blackbird is an intensely weird combination of sounds that intuitively would seem to pull in different directions; they’re very atmosphere-oriented, while still being very heavy, which is odd, almost-disturbing but very engaging because of that very fact. To put it very simply (and forgive me if I’m oversimplifying here) their sound makes me think of if Stephen Malkmus sang for a band made up of Dean DeLeo (Stone Temple Pilots) and the rhythm section from Soundgarden. It’s what I imagine The Presidents of the USA might sound like if they played heavy music. The atmospheric but punchy guitars played against the background of a verytaut bass (played like in thrash) and a hybrid hardcore-alt rock style of drumming adds up to make a very listenable concoction. Okay, I may be a tad biased here because this is exactly the kind of music I like best, but I think it wouldn’t be venturing too far into subectivity to say that the music is quite awesome. Perhaps they haven’t quite got all the nitty-gritties sorted out yet, but this was literally their second show, so they can be excused some lack of finesse.

They began with the very atmospheric ​Meltdown, whichmorphed into a chugging, Black Sabbath-derived-rock-like song at some point.Big Rain was an upbeat song with a warmer, searing, more classic rock ‘n’ roll tone, which, I though, was a great touch. A couple of their songs sound a bit samey – songs 2-5 sound like they’re based off of the same tune – and despite their music being very crunchy and engaging, even that fact can’t save them from blurring into one song. They did execute the creeping-feeling-of-gloom particularly well – Alice in Chains would’ve been proud – and this was best done in So Far Gone. The dynamism in their sound despite their being a very new outfit reflects well on how long they have been playing together and how well they fit together musically, and Roll to the… embodied that strength the best. All in all, consdering how new they are, it was a commendable performance, and a great end to the show.

Shashwati Kala

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