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Blackout, The - The Best in Town Album Cover
Author's Rating
Vocals 6.5
Musicianship 7
Lyrics 6
Production 6.5
Creativity 4
Lasting Value 5
Reviewer Tilt 6
Final Verdict: 59%
Member Ratings
Vocals 8.25
Musicianship 7.5
Lyrics 8
Production 9.5
Creativity 8.5
Lasting Value 9.25
Reviewer Tilt 8.75
Average: 85%

Blackout, The - The Best in Town

Reviewed by: Me & My Arrow (09/11/09)
The Blackout - The Best in Town
Record Label: Epitaph
Release Date: June 23, 2009

Genre mixing has over the past few years become the way to define a band’s sound and help them stand out from their various over-crowded scenes. While this mish-mash technique has been extremely successful in producing albums that are refreshingly new while remaining solidly in familiar territory (the latest efforts from Closure in Moscow and FACT come to mind), it has also lead to a wealth of acts who, although they initially sound like they have something new to offer, are in fact simply recycling the successful formulas of their predecessors and peers. Welsh natives The Blackout unfortunately fall prey to the latter tendency, and their newest album The Best in Town is, for the most part, an uninspiring rehash of the many types of rock music one finds browsing Myspace and listening to the radio.

The album opens with the predictably harsh and heavy “Shut-the-F***-Uppercut,” an admittedly fun, rollicking track that would be a blast to play live, but ultimately comes off as a watered-down b-side to a Story of the Year record. Next comes one of the album’s singles, “Save Our Selves (The Warning),” one of the few semi-highlights to be found on here. Its anthemic “whoas” are undeniably catchy and accompany an inspiring chorus that once again would probably sound great live. From there though, the album takes a depressing downhill turn, as the rest of the songs on The Best in Town offer little beyond new variations on tired formulas. There’s bright pop-punk (“Top of the World”), driving radio rock (“The Fire”), blistering vengeful anthems in the vein of The Used (“Said and Done”), and cheesy ballads (“Silent (When We Speak)”), but not one track manages to stand out from the rest. It’s not that any specific song is particularly bad; The Blackout simply leave the listener looking for the other albums in their collection that do those respective genres better.

In the promotional information accompanying the album, as well as the video for “Save Our Selves,” the band emphasizes the presence of two lead vocalists as an important factor in distinguishing their sound. After hearing The Best in Town, this comment seems fairly meaningless. Both Sean Smith and Gavin Butler have relatively nondescript voices whose differences do little to further the songs’ creativity. The combination of aggressive and melodic singing is just as standard as the songs it accompanies, and is not helped by run-of-the-mill lyrics that either try to get your fist pumping or throw a middle finger in your face.

The Blackout are clearly energized and excited about their songs, and luckily the album is somewhat redeemed by the fact that none of the music comes off as noticeably fake or mechanical. That doesn’t however stop The Best in Town from playing out as a boring imitation of far better releases. While the band could possibly be applauded for covering a decent amount of stylistic ground on the album, you’d be better off browsing the discographies of the Recommended If You Like bands.

Recommended If You LikeStory of the Year, Lostprophets, The Used, Madina Lake


myspace.com/theblackout
 
Displaying posts 1 - 11 of 11.
01:42 PM on 09/28/09
#2
Dymytry Vance
Fuck Relient K!
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This Silverstein album is terrible.
12:01 AM on 09/30/09
#3
The:Whaler
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truly awful band. they don't deserve to be mentioned in the same breath as lostprophets, but so frequently are.
03:43 AM on 09/30/09
#4
rockandsemo
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truly awful band. they don't deserve to be mentioned in the same breath as lostprophets, but so frequently are.
@ the waller they aren't bad i bet you haven't seen them live yet they are truly amazing and it is a brilliant cd defenitly a lot better than their previous effort
03:45 AM on 09/30/09
#5
Metal Now
Talking about the second and third
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My bass player loves this band. He also loves Paramore. My bass player is very confused.
03:51 AM on 09/30/09
#6
The:Whaler
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@ the waller they aren't bad i bet you haven't seen them live yet they are truly amazing and it is a brilliant cd defenitly a lot better than their previous effort
i have seen them live four times, twice supporting lostprophets, and twice with friends who wanted to see them at festivals.....every single time they were so bad it was uncomfortable to watch.

this band is a joke, and according to your profile you are 20, so you really should know better by now.
08:34 AM on 09/30/09
#7
Metal Now
Talking about the second and third
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@ the waller they aren't bad i bet you haven't seen them live yet they are truly amazing and it is a brilliant cd defenitly a lot better than their previous effort
You know what else is great? Commas.
09:03 AM on 09/30/09
#8
Justin052
i have a laundry machine.
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I'm excited about these guys. They seem like they have much more talent than The Used, who I'm slowly becoming bored with. I could easily see them doing a tour with Story of the Year and breaking out pretty big.
04:04 PM on 10/03/09
#9
cherrycokewhore
Registered Pokémon Trainer
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I hate to say it, but the dual vocalist thing kinda peaked for me back when Esme did it in 2006. This band is so very bland. :/
02:34 PM on 10/04/09
Me & My Arrow
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I hate to say it, but the dual vocalist thing kinda peaked for me back when Esme did it in 2006. This band is so very bland. :/
I think it can still be pulled off well, but especially in bands like this you see how tired the formula is. Neither is interesting on their own, and they don't even sound remarkably different.
09:56 AM on 02/01/12
Kub1-k
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Pretty good band, saw them live a few months ago and they rocked it out.
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