Sep 01, 2008 in RADIODINGBAT Reviews
These days, even within the punk genre, music seems to be getting less angry. Even when the Polyphonic Spree, the world’s premier hippy collective, changed their robes for pseudo-fascist uniforms, their songs were still uplifting. However, there is not a single moment on local rockers Blac Blocs debut EP that screams ‘happy’. Rather, halfway through the pulsating mass of politically charged post-hardcore, you get the sense that this band wants to destroy the world. From the desolate artwork to the bleak lyrical content, Blac Blocs is an anarchistic journey through the soul. Which is what I’m sure they were aiming for.
Mock police sirens welcome you to the EP, signaling the momentous tone to come, before morphing into a nihilistic call to arms. “Police Are Outside” hits you with its ferocity; Ray Grenfell’s bass dominating proceedings. The people’s poet Allan Boyd tells of an Orwellian society – “Agent of the government/Police are outside/Can I get a witness/Police are outside/Think we have a problem/Police are outside/We should start a movement/Police are outside”. This rambunctious opener is a perfect introduction, and concludes with a rhyme to last the ages – “West Australia/Failure”.
Though their outlook may be bleak, Blac Blocs do not allow themselves to sink into despair. The band are excellent musicians, and it is these talents that ultimately endure. “Chair” is a searing punk rocker, while “KPI” offers more of the relentless guitars indicative of this EP, reminiscent in parts of the Mark of Cain, another Australian hard rock export. Boyd always sings to the rhythm, working in cohesion with drummer Trever Cotton. He spits his words, adding serious venom to opinionated tracks like “Politician” and “Pavement”. Blac Blocs is a fantastic tease of greater things to come, which is ironic for a band so deep in gloom.