Sheffield-based four-piece Blackwaters are proving that punk’s not dead and it’s still just as pissed off as it’s always been.
If you aren’t already familiar with Blackwaters, where the fuck have you been? Since forming in Guildford before taking London by the balls, the four-piece are a nihilistic combination of fire-in-the-belly punk rock and indie swagger that makes Blackwaters one of the most visceral, and vital, bands around at the moment.
At a time when bands such as Slaves are favoured over the likes of Sleaford Mods as bastions of modern day British punk to much of the younger generation, the UK scene has been crying out for a band like Blackwaters to wrestle back the true spirit of punk, and drag it spitting and snarling in to the present day.
Their debut EP, People Street, released at the end of June, manages to encapsulate the don’t-give-a-fuck attitude and politicised nature of traditional punk, without ever falling in to cliche or caricature. And though the influence of bands such as Dead Kennedys is evident, equally evident is the influence of The Libertines, John Cooper Clark or the aforementioned Sleaford Mods. Such influences may feel disparate in delivery, but all paint pictures of England that, despite how bleak some are, and others idealistic, are vivid and easily imagined; something they all share with Blackwaters.
Suzie Q, for example, depicts a post-millennial Britain with a blasé cynicism and a biting angst that feels typical of the disenfranchisement felt by a large percentage of the British youth. Whereas I Got It Wrong feels like The Libertines injected with cider and speed; the perfect amalgamation of ramshackle indie oikishness and classic punk rock snarl.
As such, Blackwaters are a band that manage to transcend the boundaries of each genre, and in doing so succeed translating the values of punk rock to a generation to which they might otherwise go unnoticed. As a result, Blackwaters are not only one of the most exciting up and coming bands to emerge in recent years, they’re also one of the most important. If you don’t know, get to.
Dave Beech is a music writer based out of Manchester. He writes and edits for a number of different websites and links to his work can be found over at his blog, Life’s A Beech, as well as his Louder Than War Author Archive. He also tweets as @Dave__Beech.