With a title borrowed from Tom Wolfe‘s celebrated examination of Ken Kesey‘s LSD-soaked Merry Pranksters, The Blinders signal their psychedelic influences from the get go on New EP Electric Kool-Aid (Part 1).
The follow-up to the Manchester-based band’s haunting cover of Echo and the Bunnymen‘s The Killing Moon, it sees The Blinders adding a spacier sound to their potent blend of aggressive punk pop.
The title track merges Will Sargent-style guitar lines with a Far Out ’60s groove, throbbing bass and minimal repetitive lyrics adding to the wigged out feel.
Barefoot Across Your Water employs repetition to similar effect, subtle piano phrases adding colour to the driving bass and piercing guitars.
The track’s huge wall of sound recalls another of Liverpool’s ‘Crucial Three’ – Pete Wylie‘s Mighty Wah!.
Goth guitars add a lurid touch to The Writer – one of the strongest songs on this five-track EP.
Singer Thomas Haywood is in fine voice as he delivers a stinging rebuke to the titular self-absorbed hack.
“I know you’ve a poster of yourself behind the door,” he mocks, before a dramatic key change adds real depth to the song.
Haywood then resumes his merciless attack on the hapless scribbler who composes “verse after verse, all of which serves no use”.
Best of the bunch though, is lead single City We Call Love – an exhilarating thrill ride of indie rock, delivered with lashings of overdrive and distortion.
The song’s fuller sound amply demonstrating the merits of the band’s recent switch from a three to a five-piece.
Slashing guitars reminiscent of The Godfathers power the song forward at ferocious pace, while Charlie McGough‘s bass gives a nod to The Stooge‘s classic I Wanna Be Your Dog.
In a neat trick the EP’s lovelorn closer Hate to See You Tortured ends with a smattering of psychedelia, bringing us back to the hallucinatory stylings of the title track. Blinding!
- The Blinders’ Electric Kool-Aid (Part 1) EP is on digital release from January 21.
- The band play Manchester’s Night and Day Cafe on January 15 before heading out on tour as support to The Cribs in March.
- For more about The Blinders visit their website here.