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A little bit wiser, a little bit dumber, Blacklisters return


Release date: 18 September 2015
Blacklisters Adult
24 September 2015, 13:30 Written by Mike Copus
It’s been a while coming, but Leeds’ Blacklisters have returned with Adult, a few years wiser and – on the evidence of the record – a little bit lost.

What has inspired Adult is easy to recognise. Lead man Billy Mason Wood’s laconic drawl pays respect to the likes of Steve Albini and David Yow, while Dan Beesley (guitar) and Owen Griffiths (bass) work together to create an aural atmosphere somewhere between the gutter and the sewers.

Wood’s voice has that edge of threat that makes you wonder what place he was in when he recorded his vocals, a sensation only exacerbated by lyrics such as “I’m not messing around here / I set a bad example” on the gripping, exciting "Shirts".

But too soon the album begins to dwindle into a well-produced, but familiar, pattern. Middling moments, such as "Weasel Bastard", rest too comfortably in the moody bassline and repetition of lyrics template to really make much of an impression.

That feeling is exacerbated with follow-up track "I Knock Myself Out" a song that doesn’t do too much different but plays with some oddball noises and a more threatening vocal performance from Wood.

Adult never really hits the same delightfully disturbing heights of the debut record. It’s lacking a "Trickfuck", if you will – a track near the end that snaps you out of any reverie the album might have put you in and slaps you repeatedly in the face with a big, fat, you-gotta-love-it riff.

All in all, as honed as the band’s sound is on this second record, it’s an album that starts strong and starts to fade fast. It’s all very well being peculiar, but those ker-azy antics are a lot easier to enjoy when they have a big riff backing them up. Adult is fun for a little while, but it’s hard to see it keeping listeners’ attention for long.

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