The members of Santa Cruz old school hardcore punk band BL’AST have exhumed their old master tapes and what was found is undiscovered material that makes up the meat of the contents of this new release, Blood! BL’AST! were formed in 1982 but released their debut album, The Power of Expression in 1985.
The material on this new album, Blood! has never been released before now. Actually, the band hasn’t released any new material since 1989 (Take the Manic Ride) and the tracks on this album are from a rare time where current vocalist for Alice in Chains (William Duvall) was the second guitarist for the band. I approached this record anxious to sink my teeth into it, and was so glad for the texture and the taste when I did.
Never has a feeling of wanting to be on a skateboard cruising down a street with the sun beating down on me taken over so prominently since sitting down to immerse myself in this previously unheard material. From the second the play button was pressed the skate/surf sound took over and takes me back in time. A barrage of skateboarding, circle pitting, and beach surfing scenes flood the mind as the album plays on and on. It’ll take you back to a show in a dingy basement, no air conditioning and devastating sound.
Songs like the opening track ‘Only Time Will Tell’ weave the crawling sound of the bass and the guitar sound with the steady rhythm of the drums, setting the listener up for what is to unfold. The song maintains an unyielding flow of energy, sending the desire to headbang directly to the neck.
‘Winding Down’ is one of the heaviest hitting tracks on the record. It’s catchy and takes off right from the get go. The discordant sounds of the guitars shake the blood and almost defy physics, forcing movement to occur spontaneously. Songs like ‘Tomorrow’ and ‘Poison’ will really creep inside of the listener, forcing a person to visit unexpected corners of the mind as the fast and slow reverberation amplifies in the brain.
The track ‘It’s In My Blood’ is pure abhorrence in audio form. This is the perfect song to blast at maximum volume when experiencing peak levels of anger and frustration. It builds and builds from its beginning, acting as an elevating heart rate that occurs when betrayal and aggravation first occur. The perfect ending track, this one will linger in the mind long after it ends.
Southern Lord recruited Dave Grohl to re-master and mix the tapes at 606 Studios. The quality of the recording is felt throughout, giving the listener the ability to hear the instruments well on top of feeling the age of the tracks as they play on. Blood! is set to release on September 3rd. Influenced heavily by bands like Black Flag, early COC, and SSD, let Blood! take ya back in time!
- Only Time Will Tell
- Winding Down
- Your Eyes
- Something Beyond
- It’s In My Blood
Record Label: Southern Lord