Cabbage – Torture

In the run up to their debut album, Cabbage played a string of shows where, for half a set, they would blow crowds away with their wobbled synth-punk-psyche. The other half, would fall flat. Sadly, this filtered into the album too. The early menace of the ‘Le Chou’ and ‘Uber Capitalist Death Trade’ started to dissipate, and so, this comeback single is a big moment for them. Can they recapture the glory?

In short, not exactly. The fire and wobble of guitars and synths as faded to a new take on Phil Spector pop. Clearer and more distinct, they’ve found a way for their lyrical bullets to be fired without anyone really noticing.

History often repeats itself in some form or another. ‘Torture’ has the hallmarks of Pulp’s 1996 classics ‘Mis-Shapes’ and ‘Common People’. The target is firmly on the Tories and their years of austerity. Like their Sheffield peers, they’ve shrouded their attack in a singalong masterclass. SO vibrant, so catchy, and armed to the teeth bombs to attack the “6 toed born to rule pony fuckers”.

Musically though, just where have they plucked this 60s girl group meets Manchester psyche classic from? It’s not that weren’t capable, its just so spectacular good. Please let this be the single that breaks through on to Radio 1 a-list. Let this sit in-between Khalid and 1975. Some will say this is distorting the norm, we say bollocks! This was always the norm! ‘Cigarettes and Alcohol’ meshed in between Ace of Base and Whigfield, splice of life!

The Blinders: The Garage, London

“I know I'd go from rags to riches
If you would only say you care”

Tony Bennett, 1953

In the space of 12 months, Doncaster trio The Blinders have gone from a support band in small venues to selling out the Garage this past Wednesday, oh we care alright!

Many will reference IDLES as the most vital UK band right now but, for TT, The Blinders, with their meshing of styles and face melting punkadelia have the edge. They also have an ability to unite scenes like no other. The Garage is awash with punks, skins, mods, hipsters, young and old.

Newcomers to the band are obvious from the moment 'Gotta Get Through' blasts through the room. You can see their jaws dropping and souls being blasted into the ether. It's an envious position, no one will forget their first hit of The Blinders.

Having their Orwellian psychedelic punk anthems validated by their fans with the release of 'Columbia' has given them a new found confidence. The power and the drama ‘Ramona Flowers’ is elevated to an extraordinary level. There is an added showmanship to the furious ‘Rat In A Cage’, our raw heroes are becoming masters of their trade before!

Politicians keep dishing out the platitudes of healing a divided nation, well, The Blinders prove talk is cheap. They've ripped up the musical landscape with their sound and forged a togetherness in the darkness that no one saw coming. Long may they reign.

*The amazing image is courtesy of Sam Crowston:



The Blinders - Columbia

It’s here. The Blinders’ album stream has landed. Awash with fear, we hit play. What if it doesn’t replicate the power of their live shows? This isn’t 1994, they won’t get three re-records like Oasis. They have to get this right, the world needs them.

Thankfully, ‘Columbia’ is a triumph. It’s the crowning glory of the punkadelic movement to date. Cabbage may have nudged the door open, but The Blinders, have taken the hinges of, they are this scenes Nirvana.

Johnny Dream’s vocals, at times, are shamanic. His DNA fuses Morrison and Cobain through a prism of English sarcasm, angst and wit.  The rage and despair of ‘Brutus’ is a mesmerising display of rock n rolls spirit. There is no element of pretence. No attempt to be cool. This is desperate and oozes from the gut.

‘Columbia’, for all its raw purity, is packed with crowd pleasers. ‘Brave New World’ and ‘Gotta Get Though’ howl and hiss in their dank metropolis but, have scream pop music too. The tornado of punk and psyche are breath-taking, a fine display of style with substance. ‘Rat In Cage’, showcases a Charlatans circa ‘Us and Us Only’ moment the harmonica but, they as they euphorically decree ‘come together we need each other’, you feel bigger things lie ahead.

In 2002, The Strokes and The Libertines reset the wheel. It was perfect tonic for a bloated Britpop world and it reenergised a generation of bands. In 2018, bands are a non-entity. Marginalised more than ever (Kings of Leon headlined Reading and Leeds ffs!), it was going to take something special to buck this trend. Three childhood friends from Doncaster have proved, that music is still as powerful as Dylan, Beatles and the Stones.