Blanketman are confident and bold in their debut EP.
“Lift Off! Lift off!” yells Adam Hopper on ‘Beach Body’, the bouncing introductory track of National Trust, and it’s certainly an apt summary of the overarching theme of the EP. Packed into the mix are seven tracks of boisterous, careless movers that plant Blanketman’s flag in this year’s sea of post-punk revivalism.
National Trust sits somewhat apart from its contemporaries, however. There’s a sense that the band didn’t want to dabble in any form of negativity or pessimism in their creations, and even when they do, it’s hard to spot. ‘Harold’, a track about sleepless nights, sounds almost celebratory in its approach to the discomfort of its subject matter. The starkly titled ‘Dogs Die In Hot Cars’, arguably the strongest song of the set, also possesses this emotive buoyancy.
‘Leave The South’, the more radically-principled cousin of The Fall’s ‘Leave The Capitol’, is similar in its observations. The track describes bad tasting Southern tap water, a disconnection from old friends and even the greyness of the eventual destination (i.e. the North), yet passes by on the opportunity to lull in any prolonged negativity.
Blanketman’s compositions are, for the most part, short, sweet, and not here to wait around. Indeed, a seven-track EP seems excessive at first glance, but the impression given by National Trust is that the group simply wanted to give it their all in their first offering. A little more variation wouldn’t have hurt – there’s an identifiable formula that’s been quite loyally followed throughout which, while executed well, does become a little predictable.
But the essence of National Trust seems to be in the place where it can’t visit – the live scene. It’s impossible to not picture these tracks going down a storm in the independent venues. They’re energetic, in-your-face and hard to not nod your head along to, at the very least. For the time being, Blanketman have provided a solid debut that, while not the most flamboyant of affairs, gives an uplifting skip in the step for listeners and the wider scene alike.