My home state trio, BLAZONER arrive with their debut full length offering in the form of Escape To Electric Land but, to be honest, I’m a little concerned when any bio references the likes of BLACK SABBATH and adds “with a few electronic twists”. So, here goes.
Well, no sense in not getting right down to the business of a fully electronic intro track that sounds as if it’d be more at home on an ‘80s Windham Hill Records sampler. I’m actually fine with this, however what I’m expecting is some absurd veering into heavier realms soon enough. I’m not sure about heavier, but what we’ve most assuredly done is stumbled into some low-rent MELVINS aping with ‘The Servant’. With each member credited with vocals it’s hard to pick out who’s doing what, but I’ve gotta say, what the band has sacrificed in originality so far has been redeemed a bit in that the vocals are defining, lifting up what’s otherwise passé.
‘Fallout’ utilizes influence from PAW, MULE and Betty-era HELMET to grand effect, familiarly jagged, but also instantly memorable. To untrained ears the above bands may not seem hard to mimic, but there’s a fire in the belly you need to attempt such, much less to make something of your own from obvious influences, and BLAZONER seems to be doing alright four songs in.
Continuing with material the band’s clearly comfortable dwelling in, ‘Misfortune’ is more of the same, but the riff-o-rama that recalls NICK OLIVERI’s early post-KYUSS output and vocal harmonies work again to elevate the tune. There’s a rather annoying habit the outfit seems to have of tossing the keyboards into places they don’t fit, and I’m not sure why, as they add absolutely nothing to the music, at least to my ears. Maybe working on layering the keys into the tunes would help, and maybe that will come in time.
‘Time Shift’ is likely my pick of the album, exploratory in a prog-lite sense without losing its sense of power or distilling the band’s identity, so that when we’re moved between sections it’s with a sense of flow instead of a herky-jerky “because we want to” feeling.
Escape To Electric Land shows BLAZONER as a band with a fair amount of work to do, but work that could pay off on subsequent albums. I’m interested to see what might happen if the trio moves a bit further from their comfort zone.
Review By: Lord Randall
Escape To Electric Land