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Blessed - iii EP Music Album Reviews

Blessed - iii EP Music Album Reviews
Rather than packing their recordings wall-to-wall with furious riffing and tricky time signatures, these Canadian post-punks leave space for each element to build tension.

Blessed are content to play the long game. With a sparse string of releases and a superhuman tour schedule, the post-punk quartet from the small city of Abbotsford, British Columbia have slowly crafted a wiry, melodic sound. The songs on their third eponymous EP unfold patiently, shunning traditional structures in favor of extended runtimes and unexpected textures. For this release, the band tapped Purity Ring’s Corin Roddick, Tortoise’s John McEntire, and Holy Fuck’s Graham Walsh to mix one song apiece, making iii a sampling of supercharged variations on a theme.
iii marks Blessed’s signing to Flemish Eye, a long-running label that has positioned itself as a hub for dark art-rock from Western Canada. The B.C. band slots in perfectly beside releases from Preoccupations, N0V3L, and underrated Saskatoon group the Avulsions (whose Josh Rohs played keyboards on Blessed’s sole full-length, Salt). The spindly doubled guitars that filter through the EP point to an influence from beloved Flemish Eye signees Women, whose albums from the late aughts loom large here.

Since forming five years ago, Blessed have logged hundreds of live shows and developed into a tightly wound math-rock machine. But rather than packing their recordings wall-to-wall with furious riffing and tricky time signatures, they leave space for each element to ramp up the tension. As singer and guitarist Drew Riekman has explained, they began incorporating electronics on their second EP, “[toying] with the idea of a droning, stretched out piece of almost unflinching music, akin to Neu!” But though he occasionally settles into an endless, Klaus Dinger-esque motorik beat, Blessed drummer Jake Holmes prefers busier rhythms, like the pounding fills that overpower the sputtering synths of “Centre.”

Though it’s difficult to pinpoint what each guest mixer decided to highlight, there are audible differences. The nearly seven-minute “Sign,” mixed by Roddick, shares a fragile, weightless quality with Purity Ring’s emotionally charged electro-pop. It’s the EP’s most accessible cut, building to a sighing, wordless vocal conclusion that recalls Radiohead. Perhaps Tortoise drummer McEntire is similarly responsible for the post-rock-inspired passages of “Structure,” where spare, mournful guitars give way to cycling piano chords and a pulse-racing finish.

“Centre,” mixed by Holy Fuck’s Walsh, begins in medias res with metallic riffs that mirror the sound of electronic interference from an iPhone that’s too close to an amp. On this song, Riekman’s airy vocals trade off with bursts of shouty chants, a bouquet of barbed wire that recalls Dutch anarcho-punks the Ex. Riekman handles mixing duties himself on EP closer “Movement,” delivering yet another departure from expectations: This lo-fi lament drifts at a much slower pace than the previous three tracks, sounding closest in spirit to Women’s most heart-rending songs or the girl-group exorcisms of Pat Flegel’s solo project, Cindy Lee.

Blessed’s many local influences are a symbol of their dedication. iii was self-produced at a nearby Vancouver studio, with vocals tracked at friends’ homes back in Abbotsford; on social media, the band amplifies hometown issues for more distant fans. They’re not the first artists to put Abbotsford on the map—see You Say Party, Teen Daze, or synthy pop-punks Fun 100. But their choice to remain there, instead of moving to a musical center, reflects their humble ambitions and belief in affecting local change. “If you focus on trying to grow your communities…and have people on tour come see what you’ve done in your small town, [it’s] super positive,” Riekman has said. “A little can mean a lot to a few people.”
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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Blessed - iii EP Music Album Reviews Blessed - iii EP Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on Monday, March 01, 2021 Rating: 5

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