Can The Blinders deliver after Columbia?
Label: Modern Sky
The Blinders caught my attention with a pirate studio’s live set of blazers and sharpie. They began building a loyal following with their oddly hypnotic live sets, while gathering tracks to ensure a place on the radar of all those who know what’s good for them.
With the release of Columbia back in 2018 the band finally began to gain the attention they rightly deserve.
Two years on and they’re back with a new album- Fantasies of a stay at home psychopath. But how does it measure up to the legendary Columbia?
The album kicks off strong with ‘Something wicked this way comes‘. In good old Blinders style, their inspiration of classic literature is seen across Fantasies, with this track sharing the namesake of a Ray Bradbury novel, and ‘Rage against the dying of the Light‘ taken from Dylan Thomas’s Do Not Go Gentle.
Every song has the distinctive Blinders style; pulsing drums pairs with a deep clean marching bass and dramatically sung poetry. Or in the case of a slower track, Tommy and his acoustic guitar.
Onto ‘Forty Days and Forty nights’, a track that’s been making the rounds live for a while now and one of my personal favourites. Both title and lyrics make allusions to the symbolic time period of 40 days and 40 nights in the Bible and the stories of Jesus’ temptation by the devil. Who new psychedelic punk could turn into a Sunday school lesson?
‘I want Gold‘ sounds straight from the 60’s. Though I’m not sure what bugs bunny has to do with gold and money.
The Midway interlude sees a piano lead narrative, depicting the thoughts of the album’s protagonist.
‘Mule Track‘ certainly has something special about it. It traps you within its sound. The Blinders have well and truly nailed the trick of transferring the energy from their live shows into their tracks
By the time ‘Nothing to Abundance‘ started playing I realised that this album seems like a continuation of their debut. It’s thoroughly enjoyable, but it’s not incredibly different. But then about two minutes in, there is something that seems to be a glimpse of what could be. As Thomas sings ‘and back again’ into the bridge, a deep electronic pulse builds as his words echo into anticipation to the final verse.
‘Black glass‘ has an atmosphere to rival that of ‘Brutus‘ I can imagine it being well loved live. The whole album could sit comfortably on the Peaky Blinders soundtrack, but ‘Black Glass‘ in particular fits the bill.
Finally, ‘In this decade‘ draws the journey to a close with an acoustic number.
The curse of the second album is apparent in this case. Fantasies had a lot to live up to, and I do believe it to be as equally strong as Columbia. Both are incredible albums that I could listen to endlessly. But it is Columbia Part two. I wish I could hear more of that short tease in Nothing to Abundance.
That said, If you loved Columbia, I have no doubt that you will love Fantasies of a Stay at Home Psychopath and that it will boost their already phenomenal live shows.
And on a final note, that I can not stress enough- this album is incredible. The Blinders are atmospheric masters and can transport you into the depths of their minds from whenever you are.
I’m an 18 year old in South Wales with a love for live music. Aspiring journalist who just wants to make a mark on the DIY indie scene. Love nothing more then a good old dance with my pals. Have a particular soft spot for animals and bass guitars. My favourite bands are Strange Bones and Enter Shikari- I love energetic artists that aren’t afraid to cross genres.