It’s only been four months since I was struggling to determine what Blessed was doing on their first EP. I have come back to that record often. After four months it intrigues me as much as it did when I first heard it. Truth be told: I don’t have many records that can keep my attention that long. You can imagine I was happy to hear the band released a second EP, simply titled II. Luckily Blessed is more imaginative when it comes to writing music…
Opening track “Phase” starts with it roots firmly planted in post-punk, delving into post-hardcore territory. The twinkling guitars that can be heard during this track (starting around 3:40 or so) remind me of Sieges Even (The Art Of Navigating By The Stars being my point of reference here). A new influence that is not unwelcome. This long track starts out relatively simple, but has a middle part that breaks up the song nicely. Only to come back to familiar sounds heard at the start of the song. After which there’s another instrumental break keeping you from becoming bored with the track, or better said: keeps you on the edge of your seat for the almost eight minutes this song lasts.
Track number two, “Headache”, doesn’t really care about musical rules whatsoever. It rocks hard, but weird. Strange time signatures and breaks are combined into a the stand-out track of this EP. The vocals are spewed out in a way that is so mechanical that is reminds me not only of Battles, but also of Helmet.
“Body” is again a song with an epic length of a little over seven minutes. Like you would expect from Blessed it’s all over the place. There’s even short blasts used on this track, without making the song overly heavy. There’s long and interesting musical parts where the song really develops. This song contains a middle part where only the drummer is still involved. After which the song builds up again, slowly but surely in an almost hypnotic way. Closing track “Endure” continues in the same vein, ending this EP in style.
II is definitely a step up for Blessed. II is more easily digestible than their self-titled first EP. The songwriting is a bit easier on the ears, but mind you: this is not easy listening! Not even close. This is however something very interesting. The band is aiming to record a full length at the end of the year. Something to look forward to. Until that time I’m pretty sure these two releases are something that will keep me occupied for a while.
8.5 / 10
Drew Riekman (Blessed – guitar/vocals) SPB: What is your favorite 1990s artist? Riekman: When I received the email, the first question I asked myself was ...
Posted June 11, 2017, 4:12 a.m.
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