Album Reviews

The Blueskins – Word Of Mouth

(Domino) UK release date: 26 April 2004

The Blueskins - Word Of Mouth The Blueskins were only formed two years ago in the West Yorkshire town of Wakefield. Since then, their ferocious live performances and some excellent EPs have enhanced their reputation, so much that this debut CD has been eagerly awaited by their fans.

If you’ve ever heard any of The Blueskins’ singles then you’ll know what to expect here. They deal in furious and very fast rock and blues that just doesn’t let up. Every track here is at 100 mph but while this may be successful at a live show, it becomes slighty wearying over the course of a full album.

Not that Word Of Mouth is a bad record though – in fact some tracks boast some of the most exciting rock you’ll hear all year. Opening track Bad Day is a case in point, with its pounding drums and Ryan Spendlove’s growling vocals oozing energy. Recent single Change My Mind is also excellent, it’s opening twangy guitar leading into a heads down stomp that takes no prisoners.

The main problem here though is that too much of a good thing can leave the listener exhausted. The Blueskins do frentic rock ‘n’ roll very well, but their sound doesn’t move much away from this template. Ellie Meadows is an exception, its jittery stop-start melody lingering long in the mind and adding some much needed variety.

Yet by the time the album comes to a close, the chaotic punky thrash of Take Me Home sounds too similar to earlier tracks to have any real impact. There are moments that they stray away from their sound, such as the slowed down ending to Love Boat, but otherwise it becomes quite difficult to tell one track from the next.

There’s still much to enjoy here though and if you’re a fan of frantic punk-blues then The Blueskins will be the answer to your prayers. If they explore some different styles and embraced more experimentation next time round, they’ll be a real force to be reckoned with.

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