Donned in dark suits and surrounded by a messy collection of antique furniture, literary classics and a retro aesthetic, The Blinders welcome us into their new fantastical imagined world. On the back of their critically acclaimed 2018 debut album Columbia, the Doncaster to Manchester trio, known for their loud, political rock, return with the release of their second album, Fantasies Of A Stay At Home Psychopath.
Enriched with an even darker and artistic tracklist than Columbia, FOASAHP paints a foreboding picture strewn with references to the ills of the modern world, ranging from Brexit anxieties, to romance and relationships, to Trump and his wall. The album also explores themes surrounding class, capitalism, inequality and their impact on the bands mental states. Here, The Blinders ability to experiment outside of their established hard hitting live sound with slower, blues-tinged tracks is fitting for the apprehensive themes of the album, making Fantasies of a Stay At Home Psychopath a masterpiece entwined in the chaotic world we live in.
Tracks like Forty Days and Forty Nights and Lunatic with Loaded Gun are dark and angry, a sound created through roaring guitars and hard-hitting drums. In contrast, tracks such as Circle Song and In This Decade traverse a path we have not seen the Blinders take before, one that is tranquil and more reserved in their instrumental and lyrical beauty. The album peaks with Black Glass, a track that starts with an ominous build-up of tension and progresses into an explosion of liberating energy, it combines the band’s recent exploration of new musical influences with the familiar menace exhibited on Columbia excellently.
Throughout the album, lead singer Tom Haywood’s delivery is laced with poetic, politically charged anger and amusing wit, enhanced by his raw and emotive singing style. The bands mastery of this signature sound has given them the groundwork to be able to explore new paths, paths which truly set this album apart from the crowd. Yet, accompanied by an brooding and experimental art style, FOASAHP greatest achievement is in its creation of atmosphere, allowing the listener to immerse themselves in the dark world The Blinders’ have invented for our and their pleasure.
After spending what feels like an eternity in lockdown, we all feel like stay at home psychopaths, and who better than The Blinders to serenade us through it?
Image: Sonic PR