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Blacklisters - "Dart" | Album Review

blacklisters cover.jpg

by Mike LeSuer (@zebraabraham)

It’s Saturday night again and it’s time to indulge in the tradition of the evening’s three D’s: darts, disco, and drag (as in crossdressing—for drag racing, please see “Friday night”). It appears as if the foursome comprising Leeds punk paragons Blacklisters have arrived to the pub late this week, and will therefore have to consume enough liquor in the next nine minutes to match their bell-bottomed and stilettoed mates before the bar closes. It also seems as if frontman Billy Mason Wood was caught in the crossfire of a rogue projectile mid-bellow, as his typically-indistinguishable shouts sound particularly consequential of a swollen mouth.

Such is the only conjectural context for Dart, the group’s new three-track EP foreshadowing the release of their third full-length arriving next year—a record evidently less restrained, less enunciated, and less forgiving than 2015’s monumentally ungracious Adult. As the byproduct of a studio session for Too Pure Singles Club, Dart captures the band in their natural state of chaos particularly attractive in the indefatigable percussing, dissonant guitar ambling, and onomatopoeic caterwauling, which often sounds more like a second dissonant guitar than any human vocal emanation. Throw in some beefy bass grooves and you’ve got yourself a stew goin’.

The Blacklisters formula is something of a crossover between the erratic noise of sea-severed neighbors Girl Band, the slight-variations-on-the-same-punch-to-the-stomach inflicted by Toronto’s METZ, and the manic stage antics of Chicago’s The Orwells, and Dart accentuates the strongest suits attributable to each of these artists. There isn’t a whole lot of variation in the EP’s nine-minute runtime, but the triad of gut punches coalesces into an altogether abusive aggregate teasing ripe placeholders for tension builders (see Adult’s “Weasel Bastard”) on their forthcoming LP. While there’s little hope in deciphering the incongruous Saturday night scene emphatically vocalized by Wood, it’s undoubtedly quite a spectacle.