Hope - Blackout (The)

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Hope - Blackout (The)

2, 1 CD(s) - Heavy Metal - Label: Cooking Vinyl Records - Distributor: Essential Music/Gem Logistics, Essential Music/Proper - Released: 04/04/2011 - ...

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Review of "Hope - Blackout (The)"

published 07/06/2011 | ChemicalRomance
Member since : 01/08/2005
Reviews : 231
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Excellent
Pro Some amazingly powerful songs...
Cons The screaming can get a tiny bit annoying if you don't like it...
exceptional
Originality
Quality and consistency of tracks
Cover / Inlay Design and Content
Value for Money
Lyrics

"The Blackout Took All The Hope...."

The boys...

The boys...

Nothing like a good album to get your brain going first thing in the morning, or at night, or in the middle of the day! To be honest anywhere and everywhere there is a CD player, or dock for my MP3 I have had to get this album played – it seems to be a bit of an addiction for me at the moment. The neighbours aren’t too keen on this fact, but then again I put up with their Celine Dion and whatever else it is they listen to I think the occasional bit of my music won’t kill them, or make them phone the police!

Who are The Blackout?

The Blackout are a band from Merthyr Tydfil in Wales, another one of the bands to come from across the border – Wales seems to have produced some brilliant alternative bands in the past few years – looking at my music collection there is a lot of Welsh acts in there! The band has been up and running since 2003, they used to run around under the name ‘Ten Minute Preview’ but dropped the name after seeing a t-shirt saying ‘I survived the blackout’ apparently… Do think though that ‘The Blackout’ has a bit more of a kick to it, but each to their own I guess! The band did the rounds on tour with fellow Welsh bands like Funeral For a Friend, Lost Prophets and Kids in Glass Houses to get their name around.

Since their formation this band have got around just a little bit, from tours across Europe, all the way to small trips in Japan. The band have even made it as far as America, and it all seems to have come in their stride pretty much – but it also means they are in high demand! They seem to be so popular in the UK that when they played the London Astoria, they became only the third unsigned band to sell the place out! Not bad going for an unsigned band really! The band really have got their noses in with so many bands over the past eight years, it’s amazing they aren’t bigger than they are really! Since their formation they have swapped record labels many times, but despite that this is studio album number four from the boys. The line-up of the band hasn’t actually changed since 2003 which doesn’t happen all that often with bands now, and if I’m honest they have just got better as they have gone on!

Track Listing

1. Ambition Is Critical - 4:01
2. Never By Your Side - 3:26
3. Higher & Higher (feat. Hyro da Hero) - 3:17
4. Hope (Scream It Out Loud) - 3:45
5. This Is Our Time - 3:06
6. The Last Goodbye (feat. Annie Bourough) - 4:09
7. No More Waiting - 3:36
8. The Devil Inside - 3:15
9. You're Not Alone - 3:37
10. Keep on Moving - 3:59
11. The Storm - 4.25

Do The Blackout Need More Hope?

I’m going to give that one a big resounding – no. This album has fast become one of my favourites in the 8 weeks that I’ve had it, it started out a bit negatively, as the first time I listened to it I just had a quick listen and it just sounded a bit too screamy and well I just wasn’t as impressed with it as I was with the single that had been released. I had to give it a good few listens before I got over my initial dislike of the album, after that it didn’t take too long for me to start to love this album. I will admit though when I first got it I did listen to the single ‘Higher and Higher’ a fair few times, purely because it was the only song I knew the words to. Anyone that knows me, knows that I will have a CD on in the car and just have to sing, not always easy depending on what I’m listening to, but this album isn’t too bad for it!

Lyrically this album is quite good, there aren’t any lyrics that are about to jump out at you and make you either jump around like a crazy person, but they have yet to make me cry either – which is always a bonus! It took a few listens to work it out but songs like ‘The Last Goodbye’ when you actually look at the lyrics are quite sad really, but as most songs are related to love and relationships there we go another one connected to a relationship gone bad. The fact that this band aren’t totally conventional with their singing just makes for a more interesting album, as you don’t go one track without a bit of screaming – which initially put me off. As you listen to the album more, it begins to fit in a little more than you might initially think – and you will grow to like it honestly! It’s not all screaming though so don’t worry about that it’s quite often actual singing that you can sing along to if you really want to. The lyrics are fair simple to learn if you wanted to, simple and repetitive if I’m honest. Doesn’t detract from the rest of the song though because, you can sing them at the top of your lungs and not feel like an idiot forgetting them. There isn’t anything special about the lyrics if I’m honest, no fancy languages or shows of fancy English, just plain normal lyrics that probably most people can relate to. That’s one of the reasons I like this album so much, the lyrics appeal to me quite a lot! As normal with a lot of the more alternative bands around now, there is a fair amount of bad language in the songs but don’t let it put you off – if you can help it.

The bonus with this album is that it is constantly upbeat, there is not one song where they lose the tempo. Which is nothing short of what I expected with a band in this genre really to be honest, they tend not to drop off into a slow song in the middle – thankfully because I would then just lose interest in the rest of the album! Obviously ‘Higher and Higher,’ is one of my favourites because it was the single and has the added extra of a rapper on it, and given that normally I don’t really like that kind of music – but I actually found that it fitted really nicely with the song. I have my soft spots for some songs on this album more than others especially the last track ‘The Storm,’ it has such a good backing track to it that builds so highly around the chorus it just makes me want it louder on my stereo than I can actually have it. It has just the right combination of heavy drum beat and screaming guitars that just makes it a song that is impossible not to like. It seems that this band, over their past four albums have just grown stronger and stronger, vocally and musically – they now seem to be as tight as ever. Ok so vocally they aren’t the strongest band in the world, maybe not made to be singers in a band but I have heard a lot worse, and it’s not as if it detracts from the songs. The drums on this album are fairly heavy, but they are light enough so that they aren’t breaking your speakers, similarly with the bass, it has its moments but nothing to kill your eardrums! The thing I noticed more heavily with this lot, than I have with any other bands recently is that you can clearly hear a distinction between their lead guitar and their rhythm guitar. Just recently there isn’t that distinction between the two or even having both in a band. So it makes for interesting listening! The one thing that is lacking slightly in this album, that I like is a bit of an interlude between each track, but I’m not going to complain about it that much because it’s still very much my favourite album at the moment.

Each track has its individual merits, ‘Ambition Is Critical,’ is a blast of a way to open the album, it gives a really heavy feel to the beginning, and picks you right up to head on through the album with a high tempo. ‘Never By Your Side,’ is a little bit more upbeat and a little bit more screamy, but nothing that would put you off – the ending to the song is also pretty different, like someone is making a speech, this is also the second single of the album. ‘Higher and Higher,’ was the first single off the album, and my favourite track, it has such a happy feel to it, and a lot less screaming – which always bodes well! ‘Hope,’ is not the most upbeat track on the album but it keeps the memento going in the song, it builds really nicely into the chorus – and makes you definitely want to sing along; it’s also the least shouty song on the album which makes it all the more listenable. ‘This is Our Time,’ is a bit screamy to say the least it begins with a burst of shouting but mellows out a bit into an incredibly catchy chorus with some fancy chord work. ‘The Last Goodbye,’ is slightly more mellow, but lyrically is a bit of one that will catch you off guard if you are just coming out of a bit of heartbreak, but ultimately my favourite one to sing along to. ‘No More Waiting,’ is a bit more upbeat, and as soon as I hear the opening chords I’m nodding my head waiting for the big opener, and vocals to start the song. Now ‘The Devil Inside,’ is quite a fierce sounding track to begin with, and starts out with a lot of screaming teamed nicely with softer vocals – but with another chorus that makes you want to sing along at the top of your lungs! ‘You’re Not Alone,’ is again a bit slower, it takes the album on peaks and troughs of intensity, but this song has such a good bass line it’s impossible not to want to sing along with it… Now this song will be perfect for a gig, the chorus line ‘Keep On Moving,’ which is also the title of the song is written in in such a way at a gig it’s liable to get the whole crowd going. Then we come to the end of the album and my favourite track ‘The Storm,’ it’s an amazing end to an album that has you on a wave all the way through – it has a strong guitar section, accompanying an amazingly worded chorus – it is definitely one you have to hear to get the power of this song!

If you like any of the alternative/indie bands out there, like You Me at Six, Funeral For a Friend, Lost Prophets, Kids in Glass Houses; if you know them you’ll know others – and if you haven’t heard of The Blackout yet, get on Youtube, and I’m sure one of you out there will like them!

Download….

Higher and Higher…
Keep on Moving…
The Storm…

That’s if I had to pick 3!

Price and Availability

You can pick this album up at any decent music store, and online, I’ve not seen it in my local supermarkets but it is possible it might be floating around in bigger stores. If you are more of an MP3 kind of person it’s also available to download from iTunes, Play and Amazon to name a few. It’s a recommended album if you are into your alternative music!

Each place varies in price so expect to pay anything from £5 to £10 maybe more for the special edition!

Community evaluation

This review was read 666 times and was rated at
69% :
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exceptional

Comments on this review

  • newby2 published 17/08/2011
    Back witht hat E I promised xxxx
  • newby2 published 16/08/2011
    IOU 1 E For this fab review xxxx
  • KathEv published 23/06/2011
    Cracking review
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Product Information : Hope - Blackout (The)

Manufacturer's product description

2, 1 CD(s) - Heavy Metal - Label: Cooking Vinyl Records - Distributor: Essential Music/Gem Logistics, Essential Music/Proper - Released: 04/04/2011 - 711297493757, 711297493726

Product Details

EAN: 711297493757, 711297493726

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Listed on Ciao since: 18/07/2011