Much of what I have been listening to lately has been dark, strange and dark. Serious experimental music to go with the difficult and dystopian times in which we seem to be living. Most of this music is rather introverted, not unlike myself. While this has taken me outside my comfort zone in the sense that it is challenging and, perhaps self-consciously, momentous it does, nevertheless, tend to keep me in my own echo chamber (something which I try to mollify by writing about the music). Sometimes that cave of self reference needs a good sand blasting though, and no one can quite do that like Blown Out.
While no one could ever accuse this three-piece from Newcastle as being anything but dark, their music is definitely not introvert as they set out on long and open sonic journeys through the cosmos on rusty yet substantial spaceships that drip with oil, and lack creature comforts. Blown Out play space rock that is stripped of any prog flourishes and jazzy accretions, and just get down to the metal rivets of delivering an experience that is nevertheless still of epic proportions. So in terms of eliminating the dystopian blues, Blown Out don’t so much eschew them as annihilate them. This is like using a thermonuclear blaster to crack an almond.
So it is with the band’s latest release, ‘Superior Venus’ on Riot Season Records, which is yet another explosive discharge that sends you immediately deep into a galaxy far far away. Side One, ‘Impious Oppressor’ begins with a beat and a crackle and then launches into a groove-locked hyperdrive which keeps you absorbed until it spits you out at the end of its fifteen minute run exhausted but somehow cleansed. In between there are some bridges and chord changes that really keep the track going, ensuring that this tight and together band are never anything but on it
The title track on the second side (if we’re talking vinyl) is a slightly slower and more considered number. Just to be clear it is still as heavy and epic as fuck, but there are moments that are more subtle and nuanced. If ‘Impious Oppressor’ is a cosmic wrecking ball through an asteroid belt, then ‘Superior Venus’ is the soundtrack to your journey in stasis past nebulae and deep dark black holes.
Blown Out always seem to deliver the goods when it comes to dark yet uncomplicated space rock. They hit the nail on the head every time, even if it is with a moon-sized battering ram. Most of all they take you away from it all, and open up new worlds and possibilities. Moreover, while their imagery is definitely in keeping with these austere times you do get the feeling that they are in there with you.
‘Superior Venus’ is available as a Limited edition 500 vinyl LP pressed on neon orange translucent vinyl. Housed in 350gsm printed card sleeve with black inner bag. This includes digital pre-order of Superior Venus. You get 2 tracks now (streaming via the free Bandcamp app and also available as a high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more), plus the complete album the moment it’s released.
Also available as a limited edition cassette of 75 numbered copies (60 for sale worldwide) with salmon pink tape shells and download code on sister label Swap Meat.
All available here.