BackBlast – The Area Is Clear

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Band Members:
Dan Cunningham – Lead Vocals
Marcus Eguia – Guitar
Chris Tamberella – Drums, Backup Vocals
Joe Daugherty – Bass, Backup Vocals
Chris Cooley – Guitar

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Hi all! Welcome to my latest review of the debut EP from American Act BackBlast, titled The Area Is Clear.  

I first of all want to point out that they produced this release independently, and that, overall, the final product impressed me. Whilst there are a lot of Indie artists out there who do most of the promotional and or label-related aspects on their own, by “Independent” in this case, I mean that BackBlast not only played and wrote for it – they literally produced it themselves. Recording, Mixing and Mastering, as far as I’m aware, that’s all them. They did it all.

They’re a group that is incredibly pragmatic in their approach towards their music – and whilst there’s always the danger of a hive-mind mentality when producing without external help, these men do not suffer from this. They make the most of that room to breathe. Heavily impressive.

Granted, the mix itself is not the cleanest, but it’s still pretty damn good. The music, though, is absolutely the star of this release. The song writing and the musicianship is on point, especially considering the full line-up for this release only fully formed in August this year. I mean, shit. These men are absolutely not screwing around. It’s an impressive effort on their part.

Let’s talk about the individual tracks. With noted influences from Metallica, Nirvana and Black Sabbath, we’re talking about some core hard rock/grunge/metal tinged tunes. The music itself is thoroughly organic. There are small imperfections but the feeling is there. It’s human. Tracks such as “Origins” (feat. a really sweet guitar solo by Padraic Kalisek) begin acoustically and end melodically and emphatically. In fact, the lyrics (“thanks for bringing out the best in me”) and the riffage just perks me up in a way I wasn’t expecting, again, from a sum total of the aforementioned influences.

“Shiver” is the opening track (which I should probably have started this discussion with, but you know) and I feel that it’s the single of this EP. There’s no guitar solo in this one – this is rock with gritty gat. Rhythms, bass, drums and a well-rounded vocal performance. It keeps it simple and it does simple very effectively and efficiently. Likewise with “Storm Within” – solid effort. BackBlast may not obliterate the status quo of the modern genre equivalent, but they serve its forefathers well.

It’ll be interesting to hear their full-length album, which if I remember correctly is due before the end of next year. Best of luck to these fine men in future – for everyone else, give this EP a shot. You won’t regret it.