|Blackhole - 'Dead Hearts' (Search and Destroy Records)|
|Written by Gaz E|
|Friday, 11 September 2009 16:17|
At last year's Hard Rock Hell festival, I didn't think that, Cancer Bats aside, there would really be anything to grab me from the Radio 1 sponsored stage.....that was until I saw Blackhole. There was a certain energy present, a spark, a clue even, that so many young bands think that they possess yet sadly don't. I caught them live again recently and, once more, they impressed the hell out of me. But the band are haunted by something that we need to get out of the way immediately......
......frontman Richard Carter is the brother of Frank and Steph Carter of Gallows. Richard, somewhat unsurprisingly, sounds like Frank when he opens his mouth. While the coattails of one of the UK's greatest young bands are a great ice breaker to ride, they can also be very difficult to break free of - both a blessing and a curse. If Blackhole can ride the wave of seemingly constant name-checking, they have a good chance of landing a haymaker to an industry already on the ropes. I realise that I have done that the exact thing that I warn against with the opening shots of this review, but I do it with positivity, others won't.
'Dead Hearts', produced and mixed by Colin Richardson (Machine Head/Slipknot/Fear Factory), is the band's debut album and features a couple of songs that first appeared on the band's 'Harness' EP - 'Witches' and 'Forever' - that have been reborn here purely because of their undeniable quality, with the latter's hefty groove threatening to break necks. Opener 'Don't Cry', the lead track that the band insisted be given away as a free download on their website, pretty much sums up the band in just over one and half minutes - pulsing with attitude yet infectiously hook laden, qualities than bleed into great first single 'Scared To Change'.
The ingredient that is sure to make Blackhole rise above their contemporaries is their ability to lay a massive groove at the heart of every song. Want proof? Check out 'Can't Breathe A Word' and the superbly titled 'I'm Failing To See How This Is A Good Idea'. When the groove lessens, the intensity grows and courses through tracks like 'Post-It-Will' and album closer 'We Are The Dead Hearts'.
The album flies by and pretty much forces your hand to the repeat button. As solid a debut as can be expected from such a young band who have little trouble in polluting the airwaves with memorable tunes. You just get the feeling that their struggles will come when having to convince the moral majority that they have their own identity. I, for one, have been beaten down into compliance.