Everybody Come To Church
Due October 9th via Louder Than War Records
It’s not very often a band comes along with such a different and visionary sound as well as a unique outlook to music as any other band around at that moment but Evil Blizzard are one of those bands.
The fact that the band have four bassists and a drummer who sings too would mark them out from the pack immediately but when the music stands out as much as it does here, then that is what matters.
The bass is what strikes you from the start, obviously with the band having four bassists then it is going to make a difference but the way Evil Blizzard utilise the bass is what makes them especially unique in this day and age. The use of bass is extremely powerful and owes much to the power of dub and this is most evident on the dub heavy trip of album track Spread The Fear while the dub influence looms heavily over the album where it mixes with a heavy punk and post punk sensibility.
The band start Everybody Come To Church with the threatening lurch of Are You Evil which boasts a throbbing bassline arching through the track while the chants of “Are You Evil” and the menacing attacks on the institution of the church of “Everybody Come To Church“and “Beware The Evil That Lies Behind The Smile” ring heavily over the musical chaos of the bass and a pounding drum rhythm that ends in a cacophony of sound.
Stupid People follows and the most obvious reference point would be Public Image Ltd in both the dub influence and the singers John Lydon– esque howl but Evil Blizzard have their own spin on things and their attack on the stupid people of the title is sublime.
Bow Down To Pray boasts a slower and more dubby take on things as does Spread The Fear. Both of these songs have a sense of freedom with their groove and both explore different and intense sonic frequencies particularly the latter with a vibrant bassline and vibe that wouldn’t sound out of place on an On-U Sound production.
A trippy synth-like sound followed by a intimidating bass sound signals the arrival of next track Sacrifice which lurks and strikes like Killing Joke soundtracking cult 1970s film The Warriors, in which the end of the track crashes out like some sort of trippy musical battle with the singers Sacrifice chant ultimately winning out.
The albums heaviest track has to be Balloon with its bass throb that strikes fear into the listener with its unrelenting rhythmic trance.
The album is rounded out with the sarcastic stomp of Laughing Gas and album closer Watching, a mystical journey into bass and drums led sound with a thrilling culmination.
Evil Blizzard have much in common with aforementioned arch provocateurs PIL and Killing Joke not just sonically but with both bands not fitting in with any genre and just doing as they please and making the music that they want to and long may they continue. A blistering and vital album.
Words: Gavin Brown