EP REVIEW: The Blinders – Electric Kool-Aid (Part 1)
Photo Credit: Niall Lea
Bursting onto the scene with arguably one of the best debuts of the 2010s in Columbia, The Blinders‘ brand of dystopian rock has got many people talking.
In 2020, they released their sophomore record (and brilliantly named) Fantasies of A Stay At Home Psychopath, where the band continued their tales of lunatics with loaded guns and the wickedness that lays in the dark. However The Blinders‘ latest EP has shown a needed shake up of their sound, whilst still holding onto the important fundamentals that makes them unique.
Electric Kool-Aid (Part 1) shows a band that is perhaps in transition and willing to experiment with new sounds, in order to avoid becoming another stale rock band.
Electric Kool-Aid‘s opening of psychedelic-style layered vocals of “Electric kool-aid” immediately imply that this isn’t going to be your average The Blinders record.
It then transitions into the second track Barefoot Across your Water with gentle strumming and a lovely piano piece, as Thomas Haywood’s murmuring of walking “barefoot across your water” leads you into the next track. It’s a lovely, chilled opener that makes you feel like you’re walking around a forest on a winter’s night.
Lead single City We Call Love’s groove grabs you immediately. Bouncing between bass and guitar, it was definitely the correct decision to write the song around this brilliant riff. Haywood’s alternative lyrics of the feeling of falling in love will have you singing along, whilst the synth in the latter section of the song sounds like something grabbed straight out of Muse’s Stockholm Syndrome. It’s one of the best tracks the band have released, and shows how strong their amended sound can be, when done right.
Interestingly, the next track uses a synth line which also sounds straight from Ploho’s Dobraya Pesnya (good song, which also happens to be its translation). Although the lyrical content is perhaps a bit of a dip, the song is okay, but fairly forgettable.
Closer Hate To See You Tortured‘s vocal samples are another clip of the new The Blinders, before breaking into a Courteeners style verse. Its chorus also sounds something straight out of a noughties indie-rock band hit.
As mentioned, The Blinders are experimenting with a slightly different style of music for much of this EP and for the vast majority of it, it’s really successful. It’s going to be fascinating seeing what their next album sounds like.
Standout Tracks: Barefoot Across Your Water, City We Call Love
For Fans Of: Arctic Monkeys, Courteeners, Muse
Written by: Joe Loughran