North Carolina’s Blag’ard offer alternative rock of the strictly “no frills” variety. Just one listen to their songs and you get the picture of a couple of working men taking their frustrations out a beat-up set of guitars and drums. That’s probably not an exciting prospect in itself but the duo of Joe Taylor and cohort Adam Brinson make the best of what they’ve got with their hook-heavy rock sound.
As ‘Cindy Town’ starts the album, one can be forgiven that Blag’ard have slowed to a bluesy rock crawl but the cunning twosome soon turn it into their familiar and highly serviceable mix of raw riffage and crafty hooks. If ‘Pony Boy’ seems a little too sombre and lo-fi, there’s much pleasure to be had from the de-tuned guitars of ‘Down South’ and ‘Tea Is For Cookie’ or the infectious tension of ‘Integrity’, whose title alone could be a description of their approach.
For once, Adam and Joe sound a little jaded on parts of this record but to a certain extent musical development is not too applicable to this kind of music. In addition, whilst ‘Fresh Candy’ never tries to break out from the solid formula, in a parallel universe it’s feasible they could be just as famous as The Black Keys.
Pavement, The Mitchells