There seems to be something going on in the UK underground music scene. There is a small (but expanding) group of bands that are ignoring what is popular, cool and would surely get them radio play and summer festival slots, in favour of an offbeat, unorthodox and, quite frankly, mental sound.
Blakfish are one of these. A quick glance at their song titles may give them the impression of one of those ‘look-how-intelligent-and-witty-we-are’ scene bands (with snappy titles like ‘Your Hair’s Straight But Your Boyfriend Ain’t‘, you would be forgiven for thinking this). However, this is not the case.
Their debut album, Champions, is a wildly enthralling affair; combining heavy, jerky riffs with shrieking, shouting, screaming and everything in between. Between these outbursts of noise, there are vocal melodies and even a couple of spoken mid-song semi-interludes.
Their sound is an amalgamation of seemingly pretty much every genre to ever be thought of (no, seriously). The third track (the aforementioned Your Hair’s Straight…), sounds almost like a much heavier version of The Jam. They’re an odd kind of heavy/bouncy hybrid; their melodies combining with the screaming to make some sort of offbeat pop sound (but the kind of pop that you definitely can’t see being played on Radio 1 in the middle of the day, or appearing in the Top 40).
A definite standout is I’m Laughing Now…But It’s No Joke. It’s a slower and less hectic number, but it definitely still sounds like Blakfish. It does build up a little bit towards the middle, but doesn’t quite reach the heights of the other tracks (and this is by no means a bad thing). It’s always nice to have something that sounds a little different, and this track shows that they are capable of making more than throw-yourself-into-the-wall-and-set-your-instruments-on-fire music (although it does still kind of make you want to do that).
It does seem like quite a short affair, despite it being your average length, 11-track album. Although, it’s better that it seems a little short, rather than going on for too long and losing its direction. It’s clear that Blakfish have a solid idea of who they are and what they want to do, and this comes across excellently on their debut full-length. They’re part of a burgeoning UK scene and only stand to get bigger and better from here.
Champions is released on Hassle Records on August 10th. Their single If The Good Lord Had Intended Us To Walk He Wouldn’t Of Invented Roller-Skates is released on July 27th.
For more information on Blakfish and their August UK tour dates visit: www.myspace.com/blakfish