Title: Border Control
Release date: 2017-05-19
Review by: Colin Steele
Top Tracks: “Blood On Your Face”
I’ve mentioned before, I’m not a big punk guy. But if I do get the urge to listen to punk, I prefer real punk (although I do very much enjoy good horror punk, but thats a whole other story). For me, real punk has certain criteria. I expect socio-political (bordering on anarchistic) lyrics, fist-raising anthemic choruses, sing-a-long moments, and very simple structure. For me, punk goes back to the icons. The Sex Pistols, The Ramones, The Angry Samoans, etc. Upon listening to the latest offering from Sweden’s (yes Sweden) Blisterhead, Border Control, it did not disappoint. Four songs of pure old school punk fury. Full of slightly off key lead vocals, gang vocals, and fist pumping anthems. In fact, if The Ramones threw in some minor ska influence, it would be hard to distinguish the sound. Upon the first instant the title track’s gang vocal chant came on, I knew I had a winner. It’s incredibly catchy (almost to an annoying point, but that’s exactly what I want). I imagined a bunch of throwback punk rockers still wearing patch-covered leather vests, combat boots, and spiked hair playing these songs. Can you imagine my complete (and much appreciated) lack of surprise when I came upon a photo of Blisterhead and that’s exactly what they looked like. The sound doesn’t necessarily vary all that much between the songs, but that’s exactly the point. “Valley Of The Dead” easily has the most melody, and its a great second song after the title track gets you in the mood. Easily, my favorite number is the very politically charged “Blood On Your Face”, whose catchy shouted chorus (“Blood on your face, blood on your hands/All in the name of the Fatherland”) transcends borders in my mind. Whether you’re European, American, or whathaveyou, it rings incredibly relevant in this day and age. Its also one of the catchiest songs on the album. The irony of that is probably what endears it to me most of all. These guys are doing old school punk right. As with almost all punk, you don’t listen to it looking for originality or progression. You listen for a certain style and aggression. Blisterhead delivers exactly that. No apologies, no silly shit.
1. Border Control
2. Valley of the Dead
3. Blood on Your Face
4. System Overload
Blisterhead has probably been touring since you attended kindergarden. Almost 20 years of that rock’n roll soaked punkrock with three-part vocals that made the band a name in every squat in Europe. From Stockholm to Neapel, Paris to St.Petersbourg. Making headlines with bombs in Russia, catchy videos on MTV and their anthem of an encore, The sound of unity. Guitar riffs from 1977, bass lines from 1957, and still, after more than 300 shows with countless opening acts and headlines, the undefeated heavyweight champion of the world when it comes to punk drums.
Their new EP Border Control was recorded live in The Panic Room Studio together with Thomas “Plec” Johansson. A little faster and a little more room for the human factor makes this album Blisterheads best contribution to the punkrock made famous by the likes of The Clash and Rancid. The EP raises a lot of questions about our current situation for refugees in Europe and how inhuman our politics towards them has become. A relevant subject now as much as ever. The vinyl issue is distributed by Dead Lamb Records (Ireland), Dirty Old Man Records (England), Rock Em Dead Records (England) and Punkebjartes Punkeplattor (Norge). Cramada is handling the digital release thru Sound Pollution Distribution, Phonofile (Nordic countries) and The Orchard (worldwide).
2017 Border Control (EP)
2015 Tumbling Down (album)
2007 Under the city lights (album)
2004 Via Casilina (album)
2004 Blisterhed / Voice of a generation (split EP)
2003 Punk Royale (album)
Erik Törnqvist – Vocals & Guitar
Kim Nilsson – Vocals & Guitar
Andreas Emanuelsson – Bass
Johan Karlsson – Drums
Front cover: http://cramada.se/press/cra049.jpg
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YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCHAwOJG31Uy5lYKIJlmRhIQ