Fri. Nov 27th, 2020

REVIEW: Blind Channel – Violent Pop (Musicalypse Archive)

Musicalypse has been following BLIND CHANNEL since prior to their debut album, Revolutions,” back in 2016 (see below). Even though most of us are a fair bit older than their target audience, the quality of music has never held them back from appealing to us, and their live shows are always so full of energy that it’s always been worth it to check them out, especially when their sophomore album, Blood Brothers,” did not fail to impress. Their newest album’s titles is taken from their self-proclaimed genre, “Violent Pop,” and is released on March 6th, 2020.

The album opens with “Gun,” fulfilling Niko Moilanen‘s promise in our last interview that each album starter for (at least) the first three albums has a theme – the first album was “Bullet (With Your Name On It),” followed by “Trigger,” and now, of course, it culminates in the weapon itself. These have been some of the band’s most aggressive songs and “Gun” keeps up the tradition of a heavier, harsher intro with an almost djent-y vibe at times.

Many of the songs on this album have already been released as singles, so the next few tracks should be familiar to fans. “Over My Dead Body” was already released back in 2018, starting fast and hard but with gentler boy-band vocals in the verses. “Died Enough for You” is a bit emo lyrically and the hardest to get into as someone in their 30s but it nevertheless still makes an impact and likely makes a good connection in younger folk.

“Fever” is the newest release, which took a few listens to appreciate fully, but has a great catchy chorus and makes good use of the old adage, “cry me a river,” and will be really easy to groove along to live. “Timebomb” is another older single that features young Finnish songwriter and solo artist, Alex Mattson, though we’ve admittedly never been clear on what his influence is in the song. “Snake” featuring GG6 [aka Henrik Englund Wilhelmsson of AMARANTHE] is a strong, harsh, and accusatory song about cheaters, full of anger coupled with excellent rhythms and really good rapping, some even done, surprisingly, by GG6 whilst growling.

High, choral vocals open “One of Us,” which is again one of the heavier, almost a touch thrashy, songs on the album, contrasting the choir style with a hint of drop beat and some of BC‘s harshest vocals outside of what GG6 did in the previous track. “Enemies with Benefits” is already a clever wordplay that we’ve surprisingly never seen before, taking a slower tempo and including a lot of ambient sounds to create a really strong and modern atmosphere. “…drown ourselves in water under the bridge” is also another clever lyric that stood out on multiple listens.

The tempo picks up a bit again with “Love of Mine,” with a nice combination of heavy instruments and great electronic backing music. The harsher vocals in some of these songs adds a new layer that BC hasn’t tested out much prior to now but certainly works for them. “Feel Nothing” is a bit slower in tempo again, more melancholic but still powerful and emotive. The album feels to have burned out a lot of its anger at this point, now in a place that’s a bit more sad and jaded. The album ends with “Lanterns,” with the most straightforward hip-hop verses and an emotional feeling and works great as a closer. Lyrically it references the music industry and some of their experiences, like with ROYAL REPUBLIC. This track has a more positive outlook in the end, leaving the album on a nice note, but stops quite abruptly. It seems like there could have been more, but alas, all good things must come to an end, and this was a great closing song, like at the end of a movie.

If I have a real complaint about this album, it’s how short it is, clocking in at just over 35 minutes in total length. While the songs, as I already said, aren’t lyrically suited for someone in my personal life situation, the compositions and execution of the music are very strong across the board and the band is keeping up their style, blending genres expertly. “Violent Pop” may have the most rapping of all the albums so far, but balances this out with some of their heaviest sounds as well, making a complete package that works as an excellent next step for these guys.

Written by Bear Wiseman
Musicalypse, 2020
OV: 1108

Tracklist

  1. Gun
  2. Over My Dead Body
  3. Died Enough for You
  4. Fever
  5. Timebomb ft. Alex Mattson
  6. Snake ft. GG6
  7. One of Us
  8. Enemies with Benefits
  9. Love of Mine
  10. Feel Nothing
  11. Lanterns

Lineup

Nike “NC Enroe” Moilanen – vocals

Joel Hokka – vocals, guitars

Joonas Porko – guitars

Olli Mattila – bass

Tommi Lalli – drums

Label

Ranka Kustannus

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