Monday, 29 October 2012

Review: Blood Command - Funeral Beach

 Be honest, how often do you actually find yourself becoming hooked with a new band from the second you hear them? It doesn't happen a lot, you'll need several listens before a band can really mean something to you. And then there are other cases where you fall in love with a band straight away and they mean a lot to you from one song and onward. The best example I've had of this for ages has been with Norwegian mentalists Blood Command, whose 2010 debut full length Ghostclocks was alive with massive songwriting and the distinct sound of boundaries being pushed at in all they did.

 So to learn that they'd be releasing a follow up this year was the stuff of pure excitement for myself and after some frustrating weeks of trying to find a place to listen to the album. But after finding the time to listen to Funeral Beach in full, the sound of boundaries being pushed and extremities in crafting dynamic works in modern rock and roll have been reached even higher.

 As Pissed Off and Slightly Offended! opens the album with injections of adrenaline packed hooks, the band display a confidence in becoming the driving force of your senses for the next 40 minutes of your life. And thus your life becomes a blitz of filthy rock and roll with a crystal clear production that brings out the crust stains in a clearer form.

The dirt comes out best in the band's blasting riff-athons that fuel the belting punk raging from the likes of Cult of the New Beat and High Five For Life from Yngve Andersen who fills the album with meaty guitar work with a real amount of backbone behind it through pulsing basslines and drumbeats from Simon Oliver Økland and Sigurd Hakaas. Their performance is packed to the brim with tightly formed intensity that never slows down in it's boldness, sense of danger and further sense of atmospheric grace.

 Of course, the central piece to the band's assault of rock and roll thunder is the commanding frontwoman tones of Silje Tombre, whose piercing voice lights up Death to All But Us! and Here's Next to Murderous
 with a voice that effectively sums up the sense of danger and violence Blood Command effortlessly display but having a soul that listeners can uncover as well that adds a certain beauty, sleekness and even a sultry quality to the songs.

 It's with those credentials that Blood Command pull off a commendable musical perforamance but with Funeral Beach and throughout the group's work there's always something a little more that makes the songs that bit more special. Amongst the fierce post hardcore influence that shows off the best of the genre's bands (Cult of the New Beat is New Noise on steroids.) there's always something resembling the quality of 10-year-old boy fantasy in their songs. Every song sums up icy imagery of gun fights, car chases and other adrenaline packed scenes straight out of a James Bond movie. And I think the fact that that imagery bursts through music that sounds genuinely heavy and written with pure sincerity is the coolest thing ever. It puts a smile on the face of 10-year-old me and puts whiplash in the neck of 17-year-old me.

 And this makes Funeral Beach a surprisingly special offering of 2012. Blood Command use their skills in crafting pure rock and roll into full hearted performances that manages to sound as genuinely beautiful as it does ferocious that brings back feelings of childhood excitement while upholding the hardcore fury that all the older kids love so much. Maybe it's the combination of full hearted dirty rock and roll, fierce poundings of hardcore riffage that gets perfectly heavy and the beautiful sense of 10-year-old dreams of winning gun fights and exploding the bad guys cars that makes Blood Command the kind of band you can fall in love with straight away and when they make an album of music you fall in love with straight away, is it little wonder that this confidently passes as one of 2012's most breathtaking releases.

Blood Command's Funeral Beach is out now via Fysisk Format.

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