The only good thing to come out of Thatchers Britain was the music, and I’m not talking abut the New-Romantic garbage that has widely been chastised with that unfortunate resonating honour.
It’s the bands that actually meant something from the era. The ones who had something to say through their art. The ones with the collective disdain for the ruling government. The likes of The Clash, The Jam, The Specials and The Smiths who expressed against the oppression, their anarchic values brought to the fore, and sequentially transpired within their sound are what’s in mind here.
Step forward 30-something years and we are right back in the same quandary, a deplorable Tory regime back in charge, and as before, we have bands and artists who are picking up the mantle where the aforementioned left off with the same purposeful intent. Current bands like Idles, She Drew The Gun, Cabbage and now The Blinders are making brilliant protest music with the same poignant sentimentality, and potential quality as the yesteryear greats.
This three-piece hailing from Doncaster, now residing in Manchester have been making big waves around the live scene over the past few years, to add some notable performances on the festival circuit this summer has seen their stock skyrocket, the timing couldn’t be better for this, their debut album release Columbia.
The record is every bit as good as the live sets would have you expect, on the face, it leaves no unanswered questions, definitively no short changing, and no second guessing, just politically charged, fast paced, dark psychedelic, and gothically emotive rock and roll, the way rock and roll should be done.
Matt Neale’s thunderous drum intro on Gotta Get Through sets the tone for 12 track album, throughout, its jam packed with high octane prowess, enigmatic chord pounding and snarling riffs. Charlie McGough on bass holds it all together musically, with Thomas Haywood’s beautifully scornful lyrics and vocals make it for compelling listening.
Recent releases L’Etat C’est Moi, and Brave New World, as well as the 7-minute Brutus are ferocious tracks that retain the provocatively exhilarating album theme, although The Blinders also take you into new territory with the harmonious tale Ballad of Winston Smith, and a delightfully finale track in the stunningly poetic Orbit, a semi-spoken worded track that wouldn’t sound out of place on a Doors or even Bowie album.
There is a movement in the youth of today, a political shift is brewing, and who better than 3 musicians from the North to deliver the message to the masses in this, the greatest of art-forms. Columbia is a huge statement from The Blinders, and a powerful legacy in the making.