Label: Big Scary Monsters Release date: 10/08/09 Website: BlakFish on MySpace Buy Amazon So the NME, repository of all musical knowledge, hated BlakFish's debut album. Apparently they only gave it 1/10, the ultimate insult. I assume, though, that if you’re reading this site then you don’t really care what the NME thinks and, for some of you, their overwhelming disapproval might be enough to spark some interest. Riding the math rock trend that is currently sweeping the UK in an ever-so-pleasing fashion, BlakFish fucking destroy, pure and simple. Louder and more distorted than their peers, they have an undeniably hardcore sound, driven by a powerful and dirty bass sound and plenty of screaming contrasting with the typically catchy and upbeat finger-tapping melodies. Multiple vocalists come together for pure singalong moments, like the outro to ‘Ringo Starr – 2nd Best Drummer In The Beatles’, before things explode again in to a raging onslaught. ‘Champions’ is all over the place, in a good way – dynamic and urgent, it never stops moving. So you want lazy comparisons? Try ‘This Town Needs Guns covering Converge songs’, or maybe ‘Converge covering This Town Needs Guns songs’. How about ‘a short and to the point Don Cab with Frank Carter and Frank Turner sharing vocal duties’? Any comparison will, ultimately, be as stupid as some of their song titles (though usually pretty good – ‘Your Hair's Straight, But Your Boyfriend Ain't’ earned a smile – ‘If The Good Lord Had Intended Us To Walk, He Wouldn't Have Invented Roller Skates’ is a bit silly) because BlakFish, whilst not doing anything particularly new, are throwing in influences from across the board, matching up things you won’t hear together anywhere else, and pulling out a unique sound that is tight, focused and powerful, that feels like it’s been honed over much more than just one EP and one album. The complex guitar work of Math Rock, the visceral energy of Hardcore and the catchy bounce of Indie Pop all come together as one with lyrics about how they don’t have enough money and how TV is rubbish. As they tear in to their instruments, BlakFish not only challenge themselves, but challenge the listener too. Although you’ll find the odd poppy gem of a moment amongst all the fury, they’ll never quite hit the mainstream – it’s too frantic, there’s too much going on. And it’s all awesome. My one criticism is that a full length is maybe a bit too much – at 41 minutes, things can start to get a bit too much towards the end, whereas their first EP, at 21 minutes, was the perfect focused blast. Though, if the only bad thing about a record is that there’s too much of a good thing, and that an NME writer didn't really get it, then what does that say? Don’t just take it from me, though. Take a look at this live video of one of the album’s highlights: Rating: 9/10