Melbourne-based band Destrends uses their brand of punk music influenced by elements of 70’s and 80’s punk and new wave for their track, “Blackout,” which is the leadoff single for their EP Lousy Lover.
Intensity, noise, and pace is what you’d normally expect with any punk song and that’s what Destrends delivers right in the introduction. Within that particular section is a simple arrangement of powerchords, rhythmic (but not melodic) bass, and a kick/snare/washy-hat drum rhythm, all playing with full force to make the introduction sound eventful.
Additionally, there’s a sense of rawness from the vocal performance. With this rawness you can feel genuine emotion from the vocalist and what he’s singing. “Blackout” is described as a song about going after a relationship even though you know it’s not a healthy one, and that the song represents emotional exhaustion. The vocalist does a really good job bringing that meaning to life, and the performance of all band members throughout the song add chaos and energy to this emotional exhaustion.
The best part of the song is the way it closes out: With a super epic guitar solo! This part is set up after the chorus is heard a second time, where the guitarist strums mainly low notes.
But after those few rhythmic beats, the song goes all out to fill the remaining forty (or so) seconds with a melodic guitar solo. The song as a whole feels like it reaches a satisfactory climax, and ends off with a ritardando.
Although the vocal and instrumental performances have a raw delivery to them, the song can be more polished from top to bottom. Some parts of the guitar and vocal performances are shaky and can be better. The mixing can also use some improvement, as at times some instrument stems sounds like they’re fighting over each other for who can be louder. Even as a song with a heavy use of punk elements, there’s room to make the song sound more pleasing for a wider range of listeners.
Overall, “Blackout” is a good and enjoyable release for die-hard punk fans and they should be excited for what the band has to deliver for their upcoming EP, Lousy Lover.
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Photo: Hana Schlesinger and Tyrone Logue