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EP REVIEW: Sad Blood – Legion of Gloom

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Sad Blood are back at it again with the puns in their latest EP Legion of Gloom. Following on from their last three-song release Ultimate Worriers in August (both are nods to Professional Wrestling), this latest effort is a great continuation of the wrestling madness and misery that this band seems to love.

What immediately struck us was how much more melodically upbeat Legion of Gloom is than Ultimate Worrier, while otherwise nose diving into a pit of lyrical despair. Singer and lyricist George Phillips could be accused of wallowing, opening Formerly Creative with the line: “I’m obsessed with depression.” But, if you thought that Phillips was being completely unironic, look no further than 10 More Years. “I went home, I put an Emo record on, and I cried myself to sleep” is a great line that, like the rest of Sad Blood’s lyrics, simultaneously pokes fun at itself while concealing a nugget of truth.
Switching between being very open with depression and then masking it with humour is a tactic that Sad Blood employs throughout the EP. From catchy pop opener Heavy Petting Zoo to the angsty closer Worriers, this release is expertly clear, concise and as thematically constant as a short story.
In addition, Legion of Gloom is excellently produced. Unlike a lot of bands with only three members, Sad Blood embrace the minimalism and don’t try to overcompensate for their sparse make-up. It’s very easy to pick out the parts of the bass and drums: you’d know that this band are a three piece and they use this to create a unique, isolated sound which is really cool to listen to.
Then again, you could expect nothing less from an EP mastered by David Downham from Gradwell House Productions. Emo fans will recognise his name as the man behind the mastering of the stellar 2015 record from Evan Weiss’ side project, Pet Symmetry. With Phillips’ expert vocals that thrive among the copious pop hooks, this choice on the part of the band to go with Downham makes perfect sense.
After two impressive EPs, it’ll be really interesting to see how Sad Blood build on their sound. Hopefully they’ll continue their winning streak and not stall or get stuck in the niche of binge drinking and girls that they’ve carved out for themselves. It might sound patronising, because Sad Blood are evidently experts in Emo indie post-punk tunes, but they’re ones to keep an eye on in the next year. Good job Sad Blood, Evan would be proud.
8/10
Standout Tracks: Heavy Petting Zoo, 10 More Years
For Fans Of: Into It. Over It. Prawn, Pet Symmetry 
Written By: Kathryn Woods

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