Relatively unknown though they may be, Blag’ard provide a valuable service of sorts. And when not running his window cleaning business, Adam drums and sings with Blag’ard along with guitarist and fellow vocalist Joe Taylor. Together this North Carolina duo offer the lean, macho alternative to Placebo’s popularised angst. ‘Mach II’ is the commendably taut and muscular follow-up to 2008’s debut long player ‘Bobcat’.
Blag’ard build their songs on the foundations of mighty riffs and punk vocals. ‘Major’, a fine case in point, benefits from a mighty hook-filled chorus and ‘Babushka’ my not be a brave cover of Kate Bush but it’s a cracking song in its own right. There’s no let up in pace or intensity and even at their quietest ‘Jenny G’ sounds pretty bone chilling. In fact, these aren’t just men churning out hooks for a cult following. There’s a dark heart to this record too. So much so, when you hear the title to ‘Ophelia’ being screamed it sounds more like “Oh failure” whereas, on a less subtle level, Taylor claims on ‘Life In Reverse’ that “There are people who would like me to shoot myself in the head”.
As with the first album, ‘Mach II’ uses a refreshingly no-frills approach to production and songwriting. However, don’t be too deceived by the simplicity of the arrangements, as many of the tracks feature complex chord changes and the end result is a punk record full of melody.