We may all be in lockdown right now but there are plenty of distractions to isolation with one mighty one coming up from Germany based outfit, Blast Bomb. May 1st, they unleash a live EP in the roaring shape of Live & Explosive in the UK; seven tracks of their voracious rock ‘n’ roll which epitomise the band’s sound to date as their powerful stage presence while hinting at new enthralling attributes openly evolving in their creative character and music.
Emerging from Hamburg in 2017, the quintet of guitarists Torben and Klaus, bassist Kai, drummer Tobi, and vocalist Johnny Rose quickly grabbed praise and attention when releasing their three track debut single, Born To Lose, at the year’s end. That and their immediately powerful live presence led to the band soon sharing stages with the likes of Honeymoon Disease, Conan, Monolord, El Colosso, and Grumpynators. The following year saw the Burn History & Live Today EP uncaged, again through the Undead Artists label. If the first single urged attention, the four track beast demanded it with acclaim in tow. Their fusion of heavy rock, punk, and feral rock ‘n’ roll grabbed the listener by the throat, luring a fresh horde of new fans far beyond their national borders that now can get a real taste of their stage prowess and thunderous dynamism via Live & Explosive in the UK.
The show the EP was recorded at took place at The Queens Head, Redditch in England on the 28th of February this year, just a few weeks before the country went into lockdown courtesy of the global Covid-19 pandemic. Having relocated to Germany a couple of years or so ago it was a homecoming for English born Johnny, who before joining Blast Bomb as renowned as the founder/frontman of Thirteen Shots, Recently we got to talk with him about the show and the EP it has spawned, touching on the fact the gig was a homecoming in the truest sense.
“When we realised there was a real possibility of going to the UK to play a few shows I thought it could be really cool and unique in a band at our level to actually record a live record at one of the shows. When it was 100% confirmed that we would be playing my hometown, it was the only show I felt could be recorded from a sentimental side.”
From EP opener, Rock`N´Roll Junkie, the band and their inescapably rousing sound grabs ears and body, leading both in to its raucously anthemic holler. Equally you can sense a real passion and energy in the band’s attack and a roar echoing the song’s title. We asked Johnny about that noticeable vigour and spirit; was the show particularly emotional because of where it was and why he has talked of it as a farewell concert.
“Well things moved so fast when I had the option to move to Germany that I never got chance to say goodbye to a lot of people. One Minute I was thinking about moving to Germany (Berlin originally), the next I had a job in Hamburg that needed me ASAP so I was packing a car and leaving… also by some cruel twist of fate (or superb planning) the gig just happened to take place on the exact date four years before I left. So yeah when the days running up to the show I was feeling a little insecure, but once the night began and I saw so many friendly faces I relaxed and we delivered a Killer show that was captured for all time!”
The following pair of Gambler and Born To Lose more than confirmed his declaration, the first of the two a virulently nagging contagion of sound and enterprise. From the senses punching rhythms to the addictive groove of bass and guitar, the song had the crowd there and us in the office bouncing punching air in unison while its successor springs a snarling belligerent incitement in sound and performance. Both tracks also epitomise the great clarity of sound and production which not all live recordings elsewhere bear. Johnny pointed to that in our conversation too, saying “We was incredibly lucky to have of been able to ask a very talented producer in Elliot Vaughan to help us out. With him on board we were able to make the recorded as professional as possible. That made it even more special, because to me it (as mentioned earlier) kinda felt like a farewell concert.”
That striking sound and the band’s equally potent songs continue on Live & Explosive in the UK with the gloriously untamed provocation of Outta My Mind and the old school garage punk meets hard rock instincts of Burn History; each track a cauldron of ferocious rock shaped by the excellent guitar enterprise of Torben and Klaus. listening to the latter especially also reminded us of the successful journey the band has been on over the past year or so; something else we got Johnny’s thoughts on…
”2019 was a great year for us, We focused mostly on writing new songs and the bands direction is coming more and more clear, this accompanied by some superb support slots. We actually got invited by Life of Agony to open for them on their Hamburg show. This gig made us all so hungry to keep pushing forward and that momentum carried on into 2020 with some superb shows and a very successful UK tour… Then sadly all stopped, as it has for every band out there!”
The EP and show is concluded with firstly Maiden Hero and in turn Game Over. Each track is a slap in the face and spark for the spirit; even through the speakers feeling like we were there in the venue sweaty and raucous. The final track is a real favourite of ours and one of those clues to where the band’s sound is going; anticipation of which a high we have to say thanks to the EP alone.
At its conclusion we tapped into the band’s vocalist’s thoughts on the year so far and the major disruption to life as a band and personally.
“Well it’s not fully stopped us; we continue to write new songs although at the moment we are forced to only share ideas via WhatsApp! I am not actually allowed to our studio or to even meet up with the other guys as we live in separate countries and that’s now banned. We have a fantastic studio booked for May to begin work on the next chapter of the band, but its currently unknown if we are allowed to use it or not! I mean it’s not the greatest preparation for such a high quality studio session! but you know we are lucky because we still make music for love; we have friends who do this as a full time job. We feel the pain for every band, every sound guy, every venue, even the companies making merchandise … it’s a chain reaction that’s going to take a very long time to recover. All we can do is work together and try and protect each other.”
Finally we simply asked Johnny what is next for the band and to sum up their new offering…
“So as I said before we have the studio booked in May. We are working with a great producer and we are excited to get these songs recorded to a level we believe is fitting to us; I just hope we are ready and able to do it but we are very grateful to for now have this live EP to fall back on. You know it feels very much like a best of release, because it shows our past, gives a clue to our future and we can’t wait to see where this ride takes us next!”
Live & Explosive in the UK lives up to his words but more than that is it simply one explosive slab of Blast Bomb which any rock fan will find a feast of honest, heart bred and rousing rock ‘n’ roll.
The EP is released May 1st via Undead Artists digitally and on limited 12″ Vinyl; both only available through the label’s store @ https://undeadartists.bandcamp.com/album/live-explosive-in-the-uk with the latter running out fast on pre-ordering so go get!!
Check out more about Blast Bomb @ https://www.facebook.com/pg/blastbombhamburg
Pete RingMaster 26/04/2020
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