REVIEW BY VON GOLOKA
OUT NOW VIA RAW POWER MANAGEMENT
Eagerly anticipated since the release of the Electric Kool Aid (Part 1) EP back in January 2022 we now have the highly accomplished companion piece Part 2 to get mightily excited by. Both releases have been made digitally available but in the very near future both will come out on (presumably) vinyl LP format as the complete Electric Kool Aid Part 1 and 2 and will no doubt send fans scurrying off to the record shops to snaffle up a copy and it’ll be well worth the wait. Part 1 was a joy to behold. Exquisitely produced and eminently listenable, full of invention and extremely well crafted songs born out of a fiercely DIY alternative indie ethos and “can’t fault it” musicianship and Part 2 is no less impressive.
The Blinders work out of Manchester these days but originate from Doncaster and latterly have expanded to work as a five piece which massively builds on their portfolio of talents allowing them to indulge in a fuller sound than when they first burst onto the scene way back in 2016. Their discography of two studio LP’s, a live cut and a clutch of singles and EP’s has served them well but with the “Electric Kool Aid” project The Blinders have taken things way up into the next level.
Part 2 gives us four lengthy songs to digest. All superb. All relevant. Kicking of proceedings track 1 “Ritual of the crocodile men” is a blistering affair (a la Arctic Monkeys). Distinguished by their fondness for using semi-tonic eastern phrasing and scales and employing tempo variants for good measure with mellotrons thrown in for added colour (that’s always gonna catch my attention) it is big, if you know what I mean. Like prog was big only The Blinders make do without the fairies and wizards. “Just to see you” in the follow up spot is no less impressive as an offering with more than a hint of seminal popsters Simple Minds recalled to mind. Yet again here The Blinders go for the highly effective down tempo outro complete with legacy keyboards and gilmour-esque slide guitar flourishes to cement the deal. Nice. Track three “Fight for it” has already been lifted as the current single and will doubtlessly feature heavily in their summer festival set list (probably as a finale). Reminiscent of Jarvis Cocker and Pulp in their hey day it is ridiculously catchy. “I wanna be in a dancehall band” proclaims vocalist and guitarist Thomas Haywood. Dreams do come true hey!
Concluding this most pleasing of EP’s The Blinders give us “Acid Bath”, as in the mind expanding variety. Obviously referring to the actual Electric Kool Aid Acid Test the last track is an absolute blinder (no puns intended). Spades of psychedelia, including full string arrangements as you’d find on The Magical mystery tour and Barrett styling for the vocals mark this out as the best song on this release in my humble opinion. I was particularily blown away by the ummagumma syled outro (yes I know we’ve already established that these boys like the outro). Either way they pulled it off without killing it. Hoorah. Well well worth getting, this one and I venture making the effort to go see them somewhere along the way would be an excellent use of your spare change too.
1/ RITUAL OF THE CROCODILE MEN
2/ JUST TO SEE YOU
3/ FIGHT FOR IT
4/ ACID BATH
THE BLINDERS LIVE DATES
JUNE 2022 HEADLINE SHOWS
17th – Trades Club, Hebden Bridge
18th – Arts Club, Liverpool
19th – Bootleg Social, Blackpool
May 1st – Get Together, Sheffield
June 3rd – Your City Festival, Stoke On Trent
June 4th – Live At Leeds In The Park, Temple Newsam Leeds
August 26th – Leeds Festival, Leeds
August 28th – Reading Festival, Reading
FOLLOW THE BLINDERS