CD / DL / LP
Bl’ast! From The Past…..Seminal US dardcore band’s demo gets unearthed, remastered, mixed by Dave Grohl (when asked if he wanted to be involved with it he replied “FUCK YEAH!, LETS DO THIS“!) and released by Southern Lord. Carry on reading to see why mr grohl (and many others) are so stoked about this rediscovered gen of hardcore’s history.
You’ve got to love a good back-story when it comes to a new record, not least a re-issue, and there’s a great one here. Bl’ast! were a Seminal Californian HC band from the mid-eighties who did the dirty punk twisted-riffing Black Flag sound when Flag let their hair grow long and smoked too much weed. Their debut album “The Power of Expression” on SST is a lesson in angry, abrasive discordant hardcore, and it’s among one of the hidden gems in the SST catalogue.
Anyways, the band are long gone. Well, they were until now, and as part of Southern Lord’s ever increasing journey towards darker hardcore releases there is a new Bl’ast! release. So have they reformed? Well no…have they found an old master tape which Dave Grohl has lovingly restored in his 606 studio? Well, yes actually. You couldn’t really make it up and there’s still a bit of me that wonders whether Grohl got hold of the singer…and played all the instruments himself in tribute.
So how has it, a recording from 25 years + ago, faired? Pretty darn well I’d say. It’s not “Power of Expression”, nor would I expect it to be (though I may have hoped a little that it was) but it’s raw, angry, energetic and, unsurprisingly, has a big production to boot. There are 3 songs on here that are previously released which is a little gripe but tracks like ‘Only Time Will Tell’ and ‘Your Eyes’ are prime Bl’ast!
This is a great release and its fantastic to see Southern Lord releasing classic bands like this and Poison Idea to whole new generation of record buyers. This is well worth picking up, but if this is your first taste of the mighty Bl’ast! do yourself a favour and get hold of ‘The Power of Expression’ too. You won’t regret either.
One FFO Corrosion Of Conformity, Pissed Jeans, Black Flag, Poison Idea.
All words by Peter Campbell. More of Peter’s writing on Louder Than War can be found at his author’s archive.