It may have been a long time coming but the debut album from BLiNDNESS makes time immaterial as it sizzles on the senses from start to finish spreading a dark wave electro pop seduction which is just as likely to snarl and explode with attitude as it is to smoulder and caress. Wrapped In Plastic is a sonically and imaginatively charged incitement, an adrenaline driven helter-skelter of sound and energy that ears and thoughts quickly bask in. The accompanying press release to the album calls it a “rollercoaster ride of beautiful chaos” and that about says it all.
Formed in 2008, BLiNDNESS consists of Beth Rettig (vocals, programming, noise), Emma Quick (bass, noise), and Debbie Smith (guitar, feedback, noise) previously of Curve, Echobelly, and Snowpony. Since emerging the London based band has persistently been an explosive proposition on the Capital’s live scene and beyond. Now it is the turn of Wrapped In Plastic to set the fuse to fresh and major attention, and from its opening proposal it easily leaves ears and appetite seriously engaged.
Serves Me Right is the first protagonist and from an opening sonic lure which has the senses flinching whilst anticipation licks its lips, begins a perpetual transfixing swiftly enhanced by a grizzly bassline. With pulsating electro beats and a scuzzy air to the guitars lining up soon after, the song resonates and enthrals as it broadens its landscape, the warm but steely vocal tones of Rettig riding its thick melodic mesh of sound and intensity to further stretch the captivating start.
The guitar sculpted Deserving keeps the strong potency going with immediate effect next, fiery flames from the strings of Smith igniting the air as the dark tones of bass and gripping tones of Rettig bring contrast and balance. Pungent beats spark a meaty stride to the slice of fuzzy rock ‘n’ roll, the song emerging like a mix of Garbage and Breeders dug for extra spicing into the originality of BLiNDNESS. Contagious and bracing, the track pushes the album up another gear to a stirring level matched as magnetically and forcibly by Last One Dies. Tenaciously simmering with electronic imagination and brewing a sturdy and bewitching tapestry of melodic and psych rock, the third song simply rumbles and flirts with increasing energy across its vibrant body.
A gentler croon emerges with No One Counts, though as all tracks there is a volatile edge to sound and invention which means unpredictability is as ripe as melodic and fuzz soaked enterprise. The bass of Quick once more adds a delicious shadow rich twang to proceedings whilst melodically and in creative crescendos there is an air of Muse to the fiery encounter, though just one whisper in a few to something ultimately individual to the band.
Both Sunday Morning and Humming Song wrap ears to pleasing effect, the first vocally and melodically with a mellow tone and reflective shimmer. Its rhythmic shuffle adds a kinetic energy and catchiness to its mesmeric busyness whilst its successor initially slips into an even slower and elegant serenade, swimming over the senses and around evocative rhythms, before brewing a dramatic blaze of sonic and emotive intensity then repeating the cycle once again. The theatre and vocal drama of the song is bewitching, and though neither inflames the passions as powerfully as those before them, each leaves a want for more.
It is a hunger quickly fed by the dark textures and atmosphere of Broken. There is an open shoegaze glow to certainly vocal delivery and melodies throughout the album but probably at its most vivacious here, though that is beautifully tempered by the underlying growl of bass and character of the track, and indeed its almost acrid swamp of sonic imagination and ferocity. Hypnotic until its final parting breath, the track is a meditative, almost carnal incitement.
All In One raises the temperature of the album next, its physical presence as mercurial as its invention. BLiNDNESS entangles seventies psychedelic rock and nineties alternative/ electro rock into its resourceful scorching fire, feedback and celestial acidity as always an ever potent presence. The track ignites ears with ease before Confessions ensures a blistering close to the album with its bluesy inferno of intoxicating rock ‘n’ roll. It is an intense and thrilling end to Wrapped In Plastic, a release finishing on a high and sparking the want to go again.
To be particularly picky there is a similarity in certain areas of some songs which threatens to smother the invention and creative adventure specific to each track but close and constant attention covers that, Wrapped In Plastic a release you need to spend time with to reap all its strengths and qualities. BLiNDNESS definitely rewards such focus though with an encounter which leaves ears ringing, bodies sweaty, and satisfaction bloated.
Wrapped In Plastic is available now via Saint Marie Records @ http://saintmarierecords.limitedrun.com/products/553220-blindness-wrapped-in-plastic
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