The new self-titled EP from Serbian band Blankfile is a release which can be persuasively encouraging, intent to ask very firmly, or eagerly willing to brawl with the listener just to get its way and get your submission it will whatever your defence with its quartet of stirring and incendiary track punk infused hardcore tracks. An EP continuing the shift and evolution in sound and songwriting which has emerged over past releases from the band, it is a forceful and contagious slab of unbridled ferocity and passionately crafted enterprise.
The seeds of the Belgrade quintet goes back to 2002, though it was with a big change of line-up and new intent with their sound in 2008 that the band began finding more recognition and awareness towards them. From their Fast Foreword EP in that year of evolution to second album Turning the Season two years later, the Blankfile sound has found a darker and more mature presence which has stoked up firm responses and appetite. A band which typifies DIY attitude, Blankfile has alongside building their reputation and musical strength through releases, gigs, and festival appearances in their homeland and further afield, also helped others, the joining up with a concert promotion group Means to Amend Promotion giving them the opportunities to organize gigs for local and foreign underground bands in Serbia. The release in 2012 of new song Roadkill with its excellent accompanying video suggested an even stronger move within their creativity which this new EP confirms and builds upon.
The EP rips a chunk out of the ear immediately with I Alone, thumping rhythms and searing sonic bred riffs scoring a deep invitation into the awaiting senses. It is a riotous start brought with skilled control and compelling aggression, but an assault honed with a sculpted melodic and abrasive enterprise which brings creative flames forward with clarity and furious energy. The vocals of Stefan Ciric and guitarist Petar Novakovic swing between squalling and relatively clean declarations for an excellent mix, their anthemic unity a raucous beckoning to the heart of the provocation whilst the beats of drummer Filip Stojanovic and growling licks of bassist Dusan Jovanovic impressively frame the fire. It is an impressive start which is enhanced by the guitars of Novakovic and especially Nenad Filipovic carving the air with accomplished sonic invention, to complete the trigger for a full and heightened greed for EP.
The following Separate The Oceans From The Skies approaches with a melodic vocal persuasion holding full engagement with the ear whilst the guitars and percussion shape the presence of the track with sonic thought and atmospheric expression. As it opens up its arms for a full sunrise of pop punk like embraces the song suddenly leaps upon the ear with energised and elevated urgent heat, the breath of the song now caustic yet wholly welcoming. The songwriting really shines here as the band and song unveils an evocative unpredictability to its invention and creative tempest. It extends the excellent start to the release whilst also showing an elevated diversity within the imagination and craft of the band.
The persistently barracking anthem honed Far From Your Eyes and Close To Our Hearts complete the EP, the first another storm of attitude, heart, and explosive intensity twisted within a frame of predatory rhythms, acid dripping riffs, and rapier cutting sonic enterprise which again serves up directions and intriguing endeavours which ignite full excitement and satisfaction. The closing track starts with a sound similar to its predecessor but soon develops its own distinct and contagious stance as ear carving thrust of magnetic riffs and melodic toxin run forcibly through the veins of the carnivorous passion driving the excellent song.
The EP is a thrilling encounter which inspires rich gratification for its coarse and irresistible charms whilst still suggesting Blankfile have more to discover and ignite within their maturing ability and invention. One of the best melodic hardcore releases this year so far.
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