ELECTRIC AND EVIL - THE BLACKLIST (Spooky Records)
Not everyone is content with the success of retro-hard rock bands like Jet and The Casanovas. With members drawn from now-departed Melbourne punk/hardcore bands The Spoilers, The Sex Bombs and The Demolitions, the Blacklist's speed metail take on inner-city life makes the current pin-up boys of retro rock'n'roll look like Pat Boone.
"Electric and Evil", the band's debut album, is a brutal half-hour post-apocalyptic assault on the aural senses. The riffs are invigorating and powerful, the drumming frenetic, the atmosphere amphetamised. Ex-Demolition vocalist Goodtime Gemmill gives a serious workout to his already stretched vocal chords. Guitarists Jackal and Skatt the First plunder their guitars as if their lives depended on it, producing a dual strike that would make the Hard Ons blush. The rythym section of the appropriately pseuodynmed Skull Crak (drums) and T-Bone O'Doodle refuses to even contemplate releasing the accelerator, pumping more and more doses of metal rocket energy to fuel the band's attack.
The song titles and lyrics range from self-indulgent and self-referential ("Blacklisted Forever") to violent urban reality
("Face Down in a Pool of Blood"), from straight-out offensive and profane ("Fuck You Up"), to amusing ("Free Che What's His Name (You Know the Guy on the T-shirt)") and possibly ironic ("Release the Gay Boy Beserker Attack").
The Blacklist pull no punches; on the contrary, I felt punch drunk from the punk metal blows repeatedly aimed at my head. Listening to this album took me back to the Old Queens Arm punk metal scene in Adelaide in the mid to late 1980s. Not everyone survived that scene – indeed many protagonists burned bright, and burned out of sight completely.
The Blacklist is not for the faint of heart, or sensitive of ear. It's certainly music that easily reaches 11 on Nigel Tufnell's amp, and would make 12 in a canter if it had half a chance. - Patrick Emery
The Blacklist have followed their impressive debut EP with this long-awaited album, released on Melbourne’s Spooky Records which continues to release a diverse range of acts.
With 11 tracks (10 full songs, plus a short interlude) clocking in at just over 30 minutes, you should not expect on long-winded, endless guitar solos. If you know anything of the members’ previous bands (guitarist Iron the Scatt is formerly of The Spoilers and the Jackal wielded a six-string in the Sex Bombs), you won’t be in the dark anyway.
Opening track “Blacklisted Forever” begins with a guitar onslaught and then the band proceeds to slash and burn like few bands are currently able. It’s a loud, hard and fast start. The title track “Electric and Evil” has the band moving into more hard rock territory, but they do not lose the energy or the growling, rough and tough vocal stylings of singer Goodtime Gemmill.
“We Want Blood” has the band, back to its best Motorhead-meets-New Bomb Turks / Zeke mode. For those who thought Motorhead were the last great band, this band proves that the place where tough punk meets metal is not forgotten in the face of the arrival of ‘nu-rock’.
“Free Che What’s His Name (You Know The Guy on the T-shirts)” continues the high energy burn, and then “Face Down in a Pool of Blood” underlines the band’s grasp of dynamics and songwriting ability. Skull Crak (ex –The Spoilers) and T-Bone O’Doodle (ex-The Sex Bombs) prove an almighty, high energy rhythm section.
“Fuck you Up” - originally written, performed and recorded by The Spoilers - is well handled here and is one of two covers. Few bands are as relentless, high energy, tough, loud and fast as The Blacklist and they leave the likes of Jet, The Vines, The Hive and The Strokes for dead.
“My Hammer Your Skull’ maintains the rage while “Triple Axe” finds Blacklist playing some toe-tapping punk rock-n-roll. A cover of Venom’s “Live like and Angel” closes the alum with due respect to this killer tune.
The Blacklist’s “Electric and Evil” seems to be far and away the toughest, fastest, meanest and loudest album you will find this year. – Simon Li
THE BLACKLIST ATTACKS - The Blacklist (Stolen)
With the end of Melbourne acts The Spoilers, The Sex Bombs and The Demolitions, The Blacklist have formed in their wake. They've now put forward an impressive case for bands formed in modern times, playing music drawing upon influences from more recent times, in opposition to noticeably retro 'new' rock bands such as The Casanovas, Jet and The Datsuns.
The Blacklist feature former Spoilers Crak Bradley (drums) and Ion Scott the First (guitar), former Sex Bombs Ben O'Fury (bass/vocals) and Kaptain Karl (guitar) and ex-Demolition vocalist Goodtime Gemmill. "The Blacklist Attacks" features six songs and opens with "Let's Get Cut". Here the band proceed to slash and burn in a manner in which Motorhead and The New Bomb Turks would take pride in. "Superchargin' High" follows and proves that even though the band can slash and burn, as hard as anybody, they can write and play a catchy riff and maintain the energy in doing so. Through"'Bad Man Panzram" some may hear a mix of MC5 and Motorhead in a exceedingly concise two minutes.
Vocalist Goodtime Gemmill is like few singers around. He instantaneously convinces the listener that what he is singing is right as he howls and growls away and gets under your skin as quick as he can. The rhythm section is continually punishing and guitarists Kaptain Karl and Ion Scott the First seem to lock in tightly when needed but can deliver it short and sharp when necessary in their lead guitar work.
With their short, sharp, scorching and punishing punk rock-n-roll The Blacklist are a rare breed. While others inspire listeners to develop new air guitar moves or new ways to shake their hips, this band make their attack on where it hurst and can't be ignored for that. - Simon Li
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