There’s something about particular bands that works out best for me during the rainy days. Their music doesn’t need to contain melancholic vibes. Quite the contrary, heavy dosages of reverb, delay, and echo effects over profoundly melodic music are more than enough to keep me moving. Blackout Transmission is one of those bands you’ll instantly fall in love with as soon as you press play on your turntable. This group has everything it takes to become the next big thing on a post-punk scene. Since its beginnings, this Los Angeles-based quartet released a series of singles, such as Boys Keep Swinging (originally by David Bowie), Verdant Return, Portals, Heavy Circles, and Since She Guided You Away. All these singles, except for a David Bowie cover and City Of Refuge (which is the part of Verdant Return), ended up on Sparse Illumination, which I would like to talk about today.
Sparse Illumination represents their debut full-length material that carries eight outstanding compositions. Speaking of genres, Blackout Transmission goes all over the place by exploring several complementary genres in order to achieve particular aesthetics. Perhaps their music could be easily described as echoic post-punk, but there’s certainly more than meets the eye. Besides generous servings of indie rock, you may hear how Blackout Transmission floats between dream pop and shoegaze, but also somehow manages to implement heavy dosages of indie pop, indie rock, alternative rock, and post-punk. The group feels more than comfortable in these waters but also goes even deeper with experimentations when necessary. However, their additional experimentations are not overwhelming the primary direction of their music. Quite the contrary, like everything on this ear-appealing material, even these experimentations are perfectly measured in order to enhance the listening experience even more.
Blackout Transmission solely relies upon colossal layers of reverb, delay, and echo effect, which covers guitar channels. However, you may also notice how the studio reverb works in favor of the entire mix. These experimentations with similar guitar and studio effects are causing heavy amounts of psychedelic ambiances, which are unquestionably matching to the melancholic aesthetics. The guitars are dueling for dominance through countless arpeggiated themes, melodies, harmonies, and chord progressions. Thoughtfully arranged basslines are punching from beneath with detailed low-end tones, which are simultaneously supporting the guitar and contributing to the heavy punches of the rhythm section. Excellent drumming showcases a series of moderate rhythmic maneuvers, cleverly assembled accentuations, and energetic fills. The lead vocals are emitting another layer of melodies through calmy crystal clear chants. The entire band operates as unstoppable polyphonic machinery from scratch to finish.
Sparse Illumination stacks marvelous compositions that will suit even the pickiest admirers of post-punk, post-rock, indie rock, and dream pop. It is an album for every mood, moment, and occasion, so you cannot possibly go wrong whenever you decide to play this vinyl record on your turntable. Sparse Illumination comes in a couple of variants, such as metallic orange and standard black vinyl, so pick up your weapon of choice and play as loud as possible. You can also stream it on Spotify, Bandcamp, Soundcloud, and YouTube if you’re more into digital streaming music. Head over to the Blackout Transmission’s Bandcamp page or visit the Etxe Records web store for more information about ordering.