EP: Spider Love // ARTIST: BLKLST
Sometimes the question has to be asked: can "up-and-coming" heavy bands actually live up to the hype when it barrels into their orbit so swiftly? For those already in the know with Melbourne's BLKLST, the answer is a resounding yes. And for those not in the know - the blasting quartet's upcoming EP 'Spider Love' due out next Friday certainly justifies their ongoing and emphatic attention.
Having already released a few tracks off the forthcoming EP due out next Friday 7th June, the BLKLST boys have increasingly expanded on their dramatic success since last year's EP 'Hard to Swallow'; a release that saw the boys obliterate their pre-existing Spotify achievements and skyrocket their fan base by an eye-watering 2069% in one month. And while 'Hard To Swallow' was anything but its namesake, the question remained: could this lot back up with yet another release that could usurp the critical acclaim that has endured throughout their short but eventful career? Enter: 'Spider Love'.
Opening track 'BLK.FM' is not here to mince words, hurling droning tones and spitfire vocals proclaiming "you will never hear this on the radio". Sadly, this relevant warcry is an accurate reflection of the blatant favouritism heaped upon non-heavy genres by commercial media. But on the flip-side, it's a heartening statement if you tend to like your musical cocktail heavily shaken not stirred, and the EP to follow ain't no prim and proper tea party. 'Something Inside Me' follows next with some standard hardcore and metalcore basic fare with a twist; swinging rhythmics occasionally bolster up the personality here, with some rough vocals beseechingly screeching across the tech-y bass, and the occasional clean vox peeking through the veil.
With such homogeneous similarity between the first two tracks, for a moment it seems that we're settling in for a potentially predictable journey with minor deviation or variety - but that's just not how BLKLST operate, and next up one of the lead singles 'They All Look The Same' flips proceedings with some snarling industrial vibes. Featuring Aidan Ellaz of Dealer on guest vocals, we're granted a tight and tenacious track, with the true standouts clearly being the jumpy grooves and the cut-throat contrast between the clean and harsh vocals, in true Jekyll and Hyde style.
THEY ALL LOOK THE SAME (BLKLST)
The second half of the EP kicks off with the hauntingly restrained 'Let Go'. And while I legit thought during the first few notes we were going to lead into a metalcore version of the Backstreet Boys classic 'I Want It That Way', 'Let Go' shows off a more emotive and vulnerable side of the BLKLST brand, and dishes up something quite elegantly beautiful. Title track 'Spider Love' leans into its metalcore ancestry, throwing jaunty grooves over sturdy beats, and a heap of scurrying riffs that mimic the titular arachnids that cause me to break out in a sweat and some panicked sobbing. And rounding out proceedings, we have 'Shut Off' which sprinkles some spicy drum fills and resoundingly pumps up the abrasion, ultimately grating your eardrums and brain into sweet, sweet oblivion.
LET GO (BLKLST)
There's clearly a lot more under the surface throughout 'Spider Love' than just the impression of crushing angst and walls of sound. The BLKLST lads certainly embrace their hardcore/metalcore influences, but leap boldly into their own electrifying realm that constantly keeps you on your toes. Throughout 'Spider Love', no moment is wasted, no sonic stone is left unturned, and the end result is an authentic and utterly crushing release that will have you begging for more
BY TIANA SPETER