Boomkat Product Review:
I was ready to hate this, I must say… does the world need another synth ‘n vocals slice of trendiness? Well in this case the only answer can be a resounding “YES” as by the time opening track ‘Pile of Gold’ had drawn to a close I was in love, looking desperately for the band’s address so I could sign up as their stalker. I don’t quite know what it is that separates ‘The Blow’ from their contemporaries but they manage to sound quite strikingly original while giving me the same ear-to-ear grin I get while listening to The Postal Service or Junior Boys. This is pop music, there’s no doubt about it, but the mixture of influence – post-punk, synth-pop, doo-wop, new-wave, commercial r+b and indie rock makes the album utterly enchanting and strangely unique. The Blow are a duo from the US with Khaela Maricich taking up vocal duties and Jona Bechtolt on electronic production. Indeed Bechtolt’s production is unbelievably fresh, at times coming across like The Neptunes or Diplo and at others sounding closer to a 1950s prom night dance, while managing at all times to retain an analogue no-wave sensibility. With the wibbly sub-bass Missy-style wiggle of ‘The Big U’ and the MIA-lite ‘The Long List of Girls’ set perfectly against the post-anything romatic stomp of ‘Parenthesis’ and the grubby electro-pop of ‘Eat Your Heart Out’ I don’t think there’s any way these guys could have come up with a debut album more striking and more appealing. It would be easy I suppose to compare The Blow to CSS, another act who have managed to distil their mire of influence into a fun-filled collection of pure pop music, but The Blow have their own distinct voice, and while they might wear their influences on their sleeve, it won’t take long before you’re humming these songs on the way to work or while trying to watch re-runs of Hollyoaks. If you like great pop with a view to something slightly more experimental then you simply need this album; it’s fun, catchy, and just full of love for the music. Buy!