A few months ago, singer/guitarist Nick Red announced on Facebook that Blowsight’s new album would be heavier (his speech referring something about the band making Fabz, the drummer, sweat more than ever). That’s correct, but incomplete. Blowsight’s sound is fully labeled as pop/metal/punk, and the metal parts are indeed heavier. But he forgot to mention the other 2/3 of the formula – that the pop is catchier and the punk is brisker. So if it comes down to one word only, then I choose “stronger” instead of “heavier”.
As if to prove it, the first track covers all those aspects: “It’s Me You’re Looking For” has the driven beat of punk rock, harsh guitar riffs and a growl or two which could belong in a metal song, but also a swinging pop melody backing it all up.
“Back Where We Belong” starts in some kind of doo wop style, but then explodes in a happy and fierce rhythm, going down the same path as the previous track but at a faster speed. Wonderful bass details in this one, I must add, while in “Play Play Play” the skills of bassist Mao are enhanced beyond the details. Now this is more of a pop rock song, with something retro classy about the guitar solo and the female choir.
They took “Sun Behind The Rain” from their “Shed Evil” EP, a song which stands in-between the pop-rock and the hard rock, and also has this moment where Nick speaks in a low and sexy voice, reminding you of the 50s black and white movies in which the star would pour a drink and you would hear his thoughts.
A couple of years ago, Blowsight (or at least Nick) teamed up with Chilean-Swedish hip-hopper Pato Pooh and recorded a track called “X&O”, for the Swedish hip-hop compilation “Evolution”. Now, it was Pato Pooh’s turn to give Blowsight a hand in “Through These Eyes”, a beautiful ballad in memory of the victims of the terrorist attack by delusional Anders Behring Breivik in Norway, on July 22nd 2011. Personally, hip-hop is not my cup of tea and at first I was afraid this partnership would ruin the song. If it were a rock tune, then maybe it would work out; but in a ballad, I had serious doubts – even though I appreciated the nobility behind it. But it took only a second hearing for the rap part to start growing on me, as both artists made it fit in so naturally, made it belong there. The soft piano, the sad voice and the heartfelt lyrics are intense material and can’t leave anyone indifferent.
The happy vibe resumes in “Surprise”, where someone other than Nick is spicing it up with metal growls (probably guitarist Seb). And then the real pop kicks in next with “Hit On The Radio”, a song whose dancing rhythm matches its title. After covering Britney Spears and Lady Gaga, the boys showed they had the ability to produce their own clubbing hymn. “We All Fall Down” follows suit, but in a more electronic way.
This band is also known for their interaction with their fans. So not only did they ask for pics of Blowsight-related tattoos to include in “Life & Death”’s booklet, they also launched a contest to determine a guest appearance In one of the tracks. The winner was Italian Marta Fiore, who recited the creepy text from “They Whisper…” in an even creepier way. This precedes the heaviest song in the album, “This Pain” – if we don’t count with the hidden track (“Deep Into… ???”) that comes along almost 10 minutes after “Dystopia II” meets its end.
“Blackout Time” is clearly drawn from hip-hop territory, but Blowsight blended it with their rock sound in such a sensual way that you’ll think of half-naked girls around a pole rather than guys in baggy clothes and backward caps.
“Red Riding Blues” has nothing bluesy about it; “Red Riding Swing” would be a more suitable title, given the cheerful rhythm, but of course it wouldn’t sound so catchy. And last, but not least, the epic “Dystopia II”, an 8-minute long track full of magic and fantasy.
The Swedish boys did it again – redefined their sound without losing their identity. And proved to be immune to the “3rd album syndrome”.
They’re currently on tour with Oomph! and “Life & Death” can be purchased at their merch stand. If you can’t attend any of the shows, the cd will hit the stores on October 26th. If all goes well, I’ll get my own in less than 2 weeks, in Paris.
Label: Fastball Music
Producer: Nick Red & Blowsight
- It’s Me You’re Looking For
- Back Where We Belong
- Play Play Play
- Sun Behind The Rain
- Through These Eyes (feat. Pato Pooh)
- Hit On The Radio
- They Whisper…
- This Pain
- Blackout Time
- We All Fall Down
- Red Riding Blues
- Dystopia II
The trailer for “Through These Eyes”: