11th November | Thekla

Young, brash and fierce, but also prodigiously talented, The Blinders finally released their brilliant debut album, Columbia, back in September. Even in a year filled with excellent rock releases, this is many people’s pick as the best record of 2018, with clever wordplay overlaying the dark, alarming punkadelic guitar. Opening with the catchy, jittery ‘Gotta Get Through’, it quickly rolls into its flow with single ‘L’etat C’est Moi’, about the arrogance and thirst for power of the world’s leaders – the title references a quote from Louis XIV, meaning ‘the state is me’. ‘Hate Song’ describes how the state manipulates the people to follow its will.

‘Brave New World’, despite its horrifically wrong-context use in the TV advertising of a betting company, is a blistering punk anthem that captures how old dystopian literature, such as the Huxley book from the title, is becoming scarily relevant in the modern world. This is a theme that is returned to repeatedly throughout the record. Specifically, ‘Brave New World’ makes reference to the insanity of Trump, the ‘idiot king’, building his wall out of pie. Possibly the highlight of the record, though, is ‘Brutus’, a seven-minute journey through multiple styles and tempos in the mould of a less grandiose ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’, staying utterly engaging throughout. Columbia is a truly essential record for a troubled world. This is also a band with a reputation for incendiary live shows, and as this will be the last night of their twenty-two-date UK tour – do not expect them to go into the night quietly.

See the video for ‘L’etat C’est Moi’ here: