Suck My Disc EP

Blacksmith hail from Boscombe (by the way of the Isle of Wight) and are made up of Lance (vocals), Sam (drums), Brendon (bass) and Baggage (guitar). ‘Suck My Disc’ is (as far as we’re aware) their first demo and delicately balanced between three covers and three of their own.

In their biography they say that their influences are as diverse as Bon Jovi to Motorhead and T-Rex to Black Sabbath but, its fair to say, the likes of Iron Maiden, AC-DC, and a lot of Chilli Peppers are not entirely alien to the mix. However, the heaviest influence seems to be Guns n Roses, not just in their playing style but also the look of Lance if the demo cover is anything to go on (fully kilted up sporting a tasteful bandanna.)

Opening up is G n R cover ‘Oh My God’. Its mellow start is quickly replaced by a punky rage against the world with lyrics of slavery and trading of souls to boot. It’s a bit difficult to make out all of the lyrics as Lance (who has a very strong vocal resemblance to Paul Di’Anno) obviously enjoying screaming out the start of the song. Fortunately he calms down slightly come the chorus in which we find them trying to bury the rage that they feel by ‘burying it deeper where nobody can find it’.

‘Needa Fix’ is cooked up next and, as the name suggests, is their own ode to drug taking. Again starting mellow with a definite Chilli’s vibe, Baggage racks it with a good bit of chugging however, the problem again is hearing and understanding Lances vocals. Its easy to miss the opening line leaving the listener to pick it up on ‘two addictions that crawl inside your skin’.

This is not so much a case of bad vocals as it is of bad mixing on, what is probably, a home recording. That said I have no doubt Blacksmith would improve if they were able to get into a recording studio with an experienced knob twiddler. This also goes for Sam’s drums which are weak at times, losing clarity and becoming a bit of a background dirge, likewise the guitar dubs also sound a bit woolly on occasions.

The last 2 tracks of their original perk up being less Angry Anderson and more of a punky/rocky Crowded House feel (that is if Crowded House ever reformed, developed more of an attitude and decided to turn those amps all the way to 11).

‘Crush’ is, as the name suggests, a song about having a crush on somebody and it driving you mad. This seems to be a more thought out song with all aspects of the band coming together as an ensemble and, for the first time, you hear a bit of funky bass playing coming through from Brendon. It also makes use of vocal overlays which are a touch overused at times especially at the beginning of the track, as it sounds as if there is a gang loitering around their object of affection which gives the song a very different vibe!

The final original number is, for me, the stand out track of the demo. ‘I’m Gone’ puts you in the shoes of one of the outcasts of our green and pleasant land, as a tramp living on the streets using the ‘pavement as a pillow’, with lyrics such as ‘I cast a hopeful eye as the people pass bye. But they don’t look and they don’t care about me I know’. This then builds up into a hopeful chorus of not wanting to live like a memory but to be remembered for what he was, not what he is or what he could have been? Thought provoking. However, if social musing is not your bag then this track also includes the best guitar solo in which you can defiantly hear good old Slash coming through load and clear.

The last two covers on the demo are bold to say the least, being old favourites ‘Paranoid’ and ‘Ace Of Spades’, which are performed with gusto and a good amount of twiddley guitar work. There are some odd phrasings going on which is as to be expected when you try to make a song your own, and both are lifted from their live set. However, while good to play, I’m not so sure that they should be on a demo album which is being sent out to reviewers and record labels.

Overall Blacksmith are a young band who seem to know the road they want to take but, if they want to go further up it, investment in studio time would take them up a level or two and give them the sort of valuable experience that they can also take to their live gigs, which having been reviewed previously, seem to be near riotous affairs.

Guest article by Neil R.

Written by Guest Writers on

Between 2003 and 2009, [the-mag] had regular contributors from music correspondents covering their local scene. You'll find them all in the guest writers section. The specific writer is mentioned at the bottom of each article.

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