Blackout Balter - Twist and Bend

Review by Dom Vigil

There isn’t anything quite like Blackout Balter’s Twist and Bend EP. Electrifying bass, grungy, rock ‘n’ roll guitars and groovy, melodic vocals mesh together to create a truly unique sound on this six song EP. 

Kicking off with a strong bass line and captivating vocals is “Marionette.” While the song feels very simplistic at first, there is quite a bit more than meets the eye. What starts as a strong bass line and simple vocal melody eventually transforms into a massive, electric and at times chaotic opener. The song grows as it goes on, and by the time the last few notes ring out, you’re bound to be hooked. And the best part? Blackout Balter keep you guessing. The next song, “Goodbye Cambridge” starts off with a video game-like synth part, rather simplistic like the beginning of “Marionette” before the full band comes in and the song explodes. That catchy synth part transforms into a much larger chorus, spearheaded by some of the strongest vocal work on the EP.

The unpredictability of the first two songs quickly becomes one of the strongest parts of Twist and Bend. Just when you think you have “Goodbye Cambridge” figured out, the acoustic guitar comes in toward the end of the song, throwing you off yet again. Then comes “Everything Becomes Mechanical,” with robotic sounding vocals that sound unlike anything else Blackout Balter have shown us so far. On any other song, the vocal effect on “Everything Becomes Mechanical” would sound cheesy and overproduced, but it is the perfect finishing touch on this song, really setting the mood for the very electronic-based track.

One of the best things about Twist and Bend definitely comes in its length. Although personally, I almost always prefer full-length albums to EPs, each song on this release comes with a purpose, showcasing a different sound from Blackout Balter, whether it’s the more electronic influences in “Everything Becomes Mechanical,” the arena rock in “Heavy Hand” is the catchy, poppier sound in “Hello Operator.” Aside from a few vocal patterns, none of the songs on Twist and Bend are repetitive or seem unnecessary. Even the closing track, “Edison” stands out thanks to its strong guitar tone and high energy, chaotic sound. The result are six very refreshing songs that will easily stand the test of time.

Rating: 4.5/5

Listen to "Goodbye Cambridge"

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