Album Review: Blacklisters – Adult

Blacklisters - AdultImagine standing and listening to a stranger talking to you. Imagine listening to them to the point that you’re completely captivated and nothing exists other than the words coming out of their mouth. Imagine that with no warning whatsoever, that stranger begins to beat you round the head with their bare hands. Now imagine them smiling at you. Smiling as though they’re getting untold pleasure from what they’re inflicting upon you. Now imagine the aural equivalent of that. What you should have in mind by now is the sound of Blacklisters and their anxiety-inducing second album, ‘Adult’.

Three years after their splendid debut effort ’BLKLSTRS’, the Leeds four piece have unleased 10 new tracks that will bring about the worst kind of nightmares – probably the same nightmares they’re having themselves. Whilst that sounds like an overly negative appraisal of the record, nothing could be further from the truth. ‘Adult’ is an incredible slab of fucked-up noise that slithers from low-slung riffery (‘Shirts’) to hypnotic, repetitive, bass-driven atmospherics (‘Weasel Bastard’) that the likes of Unsane would be more than proud to call their own. It feels almost shameful to categorise Blacklisters but for the pigeon-hole-obsessed amongst us, you can consider this noise rock of the most glorious variety.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SpsfkOGfPS8&w=100&h=420]

Where other bands of their ilk have a focussed intensity about their craft, Blacklisters are possessed of an intensity which comes from an unhinged demeanour that sees the band picking at lyrics, rhythms and song structures like a crow considering carrion on the road. The strikes often come from nowhere as a song encircles slowly and with considered, creeping malice before lashing out without warning to devastating effect.

If your idea of musical enjoyment involves comfort, relaxation and positive vibes then steer clear of ‘Adult’ because it’s far from a pleasant listen. If you’re willing to grit your teeth, though, and sit through an album that’s every bit as enthralling as it is challenging, then you can consider yourself made of stern stuff. It’ll get easier if you keep listening… we promise!

4.5/5

Blacklisters links: Website|Facebook|Twitter

‘Adult’ by Blacklisters is released on 18th September on Smalltown America.

Words by Rob Fearnley.

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