Some soft strumming on the guitar draws your attention. Post-hardcorish emo vocals ask you if you ever wondered what it is like to kill someone. Welcome to the wonderful world of The Blackjaw.
The Blackjaw is Spanish quartet who recently released their fourth album unto an unsuspecting world. Well, it is either that or I have been living under a rock the past decade (which in some ways I have, I guess). Either way, I have never heard of these lads before, which is rather strange, regarding the quality of Burn The Artisan. In a very short time this is the second release I review from White Russian Records and it’s the second gem they unearthed for me.
Allright, you now know I dig this album, but what is it that I like so much? Their press release tells me this is music for fans of Hot Water Music (correct), The Flatliners (perhaps?), The Bronx (I couldn’t tell you) and Against Me! (I don’t hear any Against Me! on this record really). The main influence I hear on this record are Hot Water Music. As that bands discography is a bit diverse I will point you in the right direction: it’s more influenced by the later Hot Water Music than their earlier sound. There is another band that isn’t mentioned in the press release that came to mind listening to Burn The Artisan though and that band is Tenement Kids. They released two excellent albums with different styles and Burn The Artisan would have been a very good transition album between those two albums. Those two albums, in case you want to check them out (which you should) are We’ve All Been Down, which is very much Hot Water Music, and their Self-Titled album which was very much (southern) rock influenced.
If that last reference was to obscure for you we will just continue with the Hot Water Music reference. Think of their more rocky albums and add some emo influences. I would say it’s mainly the singers voice, but my girlfriend tells me she is transported back to her fifteen year old self, crying over My Chemical Romance songs. A bit dramatic if you ask me, but hey, that’s emo for you right there.
“Bodies” is the strange song on the album, or rather the acoustic outing. Perhaps this is the song where I am supposed to get the Against Me! vibe. But I don’t. I do get a very strong Greg Larainge vibe. I can imagine that being a bit too obscure for some of you as well. Greg Larainge was the singer of Swiss punk rock band Hateful Monday who decided to go solo with his acoustic music. You know the type. The album I know sounded like he was standing just a little bit too far from the microphone to create that live sound. I am very much reminded of that. I was not the world's biggest fan of that album.
Luckily for me this track is followed by the records most catchy and best track “Bad Vibes Only” which makes up for this temporary set back in mood. The flow, the slightly more aggressive tone of the song and the extreme catchy chorus makes this song irresistible. If you play just one song of this album, make it this one. I promise you, you’ll find yourself screaming “Bad Vibes Only” in no time!
Just one more track and we are back to the soft strumming again. The intro is extended in the final song “Burn The Artisan” and the album is over. And all you will want to do is play it again, I promise.
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