Thursday, 6 June 2013

Blame Bilston - Ta-ta For Now

Album review by

With the proliferation of DIY/homemade/lo-fi music being created at the moment (most likely as a reaction to so much chart music which is basically all production with minimal tune) it begs this question: where do you draw the line between demos and lo-fi recordings? This is probably easier to answer than it may appear. Sure, many bands who've had success with low-budget material have essentially just released demos, but other lo-fi bands do take time to get the correct sound. Production is used to crisp things up and get the mix right, even if the music itself is often made on cheap equipment, without a proper studio and with the odd bum note left in; it adds to the overall effect.

Blame Bliston began as the solo project of Shrewsbury musician Jamie Yorke with a friend chipping in on drum duties, and it was this set-up that recorded debut album 'Ta-ta For Now'. Since then, Dec Fox has been added as a permenant bassist and a permenant drummer is next on the list. I don't think we'd be doing Blame Biston a disservice if we described this free set as demos rather than lo-fi or anything similar. There are a few telltale signs; 'Give It In', 'How Are You?' and 'Basement Trip' are much quieter than the rest of the album, something that would be corrected during a proper mixing process; a few songs sound a little sludgy, again this would probably be crisped up to add extra vibrancy if even a small amount more production was applied. There's no need to go over the top with studio trickery though, but it might be best to look at this album as a band in progress rather than a finished article.

Therefore we should probably concentrate on the level of potential here. With a sound that heavily recalls the first wave of grunge, Blame Biston's timing could be perfect as the revival is still bubbling under, waiting for someone to make that breakthrough. There are some good tracks here too: 'Your Fool' could have come from a number of records that were in my collection 20 years ago; 'Inner Peace' just needs an external ear to make minor adjustments; 'Insomnia' could be a grunge classic given a bit more clout; 'Junkie' sounds brighter right from the start and is a highlight. Other songs need a little refinement to make them shine but the building blocks are here, even if it's in a ramshackle and DIY manner, but there's enough to convince us that Blame Bilston's development will be one worth watching.

Blame Bilston's website

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