One of the benefits of being born and living now is that we have a large expanse of great bands and artists that have existed. To discover a new band that feels so familiar and excitingly new is exceptional with that in mind. Listening to Beastö Blancö made me want to jump on my cruiser, drive to a biker bar and get into a fight. It’s aggressive and gives you the same feeling you get after you have just done something that should kill you.
Beastö Blancö is helmed by Alice Cooper’s long time bassist Chuck Garric. His vocals are gratingly good and pushes the thick aggressive guitar. He is a powerful front man, with a mad max meets cave man look. Calico Cooper (yes the daughter of the dark one) adds a feminine but no less aggressive tone, and clearly the theatrics of the father are inherited by the daughter. Tim Husung adds thunderously big drums, the kind that I enjoy so much. Jan LeGrow adds an atmosphere of bass that lowers the overall tone to the point where your heart can feel it. Chris Latham on guitar rounds out that feeling of speeding down the highway at night with the lights turned off.
Beastö Blancö is the self titled second album to which I will be reviewing. The first, Live Fast Die Young is also a must listen, after you read this, do that. The album Beastö Blancö was released November 2016 but I just got onto it last week, and needed to write a review to make sure more people know about it.
Here is the track by track breakdown:
Buried Angels: The first track starts with a euro gothic guitar riff that demands and commands your focus. I don’t know where Western Chattanooga is but I love saying it. This song sounds like it should be the theme to a vampire movie set in the Deep South. Buried Angeles gets the tempo up, readying you for the ride through hell. As a rule I’m not a great fan of guitar solos, as a drummer I get bored easily, but the solo in this is atmospheric.
Grind: Is there any other word that makes you feel devious, sweaty and a great deal dirty. That is what this song sounds like, it sounds like grinding. The vocals on the song are just cool, they are unrefined and gritty. If you don’t want to jump on a machine and get yourself in trouble after listening to this then you don’t get music.
There has to be a strip club out there somewhere playing this, I can feel the tassels.
Feed My Frankenstein: With the bassist and daughter of Alice Cooper a cover was a must. Is it better than the original?…No. This isn’t a swipe at the band but an admiration of the genius of Alice Cooper. I would be surprised if they did this as anything but a tribute.
If in some horrible reality I had never heard of Alice Cooper, this song would send me to my garage to get pitchforks and torches. It is a bloody cool song, the use of acoustic guitar somehow makes it more dark. Which I was confused about to be honest because the more power the better is usually my motto.
This song let me see where the aggression in Alice Coopers live shows comes from.
The video for this is B grade horror in it finest.
Carcosa: starts with thematic music that makes you duck from the coming oppressors. The song continues as a resistance and middle finger. The vocals have an Ozzy quality that makes you feel the imposing darkness. If this album was the soundtrack to the apocalypse this would be what was playing on the radio as you drive toward the mushroom cloud. You know you are going to die but give the middle finger and stomp down on the accelerator.
Death Rattle: Cool name cool song, it is a deep exploration into the darkness without a torch. This song is pure rebellion that will have you singing out: death, death rattle, yeah. This song is the balance to the attitude of self-destructive behaviour the album amps you up for. It’s a dark perspective. Calico Cooper’s highlights in this song while minor add a smokiness that makes the song intoxicating.
Dark Matter: This song sounds like an Ozzy love song which is high praise in my opinion. No one does metal love songs like Ozzy and this song is executed well. It is a heart tearing ode to love. I also appreciate the sci-fi lyrics throughout.
Sadhana: I love Billy Bob Thornton, he’s talent almost as much as his voice. He is the Morgan Freeman for everything that is gritty. It is spoken word soulful cool.
I Rise: Has a district Motörhead feel to it, that guitar push and slap of vocals. It is rough like sandpaper you can’t stop rubbing against yourself. A beautiful pain, with a driving bass line.
Machine Girl: This song sounds like a 1967 Mustang. Feminine but muscly, wind in your hair and sweat on your brow. Calico Cooper is a great machine girl, I can hear the redline in her voice. I really love the drums on this song, they keep you on the edge of your seat and play well against the guitar.
Honey: This song is the smoothest on the album, so the name is fit for purpose. I love the lyrics on this, you need to listen to them closely.
Blind Date: The guitar on this is race bred, the vocals sound hung over. It brings images of a seedy club with bars on the windows. Calico’s vocals on this really highlights the great contrast between her and Chuck Garric. Perhaps my only request would be to hear more of this interplay.
Damnation: What a fitting song to end an apocalyptic album on. It sounds like the Thunderdome, going into battle as the unlikely hero. It builds the picture of damnation, and the choppiness of the song allows you to do nothing but head bang.
It should be no surprise that I give this album a 5/5. It is one of the few albums that I wouldn’t change a thing on, if you knew me you’d know how rare that is. It is cool and gritty and it is what the music landscape has been missing. It is the band I wish I could be apart of and the sound I wish I could make.
I hope they either tour down under or I can go up over and see them in the northern hemisphere. My wife came past when listening to them and ask who were they because she liked them. That is high praise indeed.
Check Beastö Blancö out where ever you get your good music. Get both albums they are both in need of a listen.