THE BLUE SCREEN OF DEATH: 'Leave The Future Behind'

OUR HUMBLE PORT TOWN of Southampton has been a surprising petri dish of musical talent. Its most recent exports include The Delays and the inimitable Band of Skulls who have […]

The Blue Screen of Death have perfected the 'born in Southampton' look

OUR HUMBLE PORT TOWN of Southampton has been a surprising petri dish of musical talent. Its most recent exports include The Delays and the inimitable Band of Skulls who have recently had an explosion of interest on both sides of the Atlantic pond.

Taking this as a personal challenge, acutely self-aware up-and-coming local rock band The Blue Screen of Death have stepped onto the national stage with their own brand of passive/aggressive licks in their lyrical power-album, Leave The Future Behind.

Check out track 2, Do It Right, for Paul Shott’s crunching bassline that punches you straight in the face with some deliciously tight drumming from Harry Gardner. Eat your heart out, Josh Homme: Queens of the Stone Age wish they’d stolen a few of these riffs.

BSoD owe much of the rich, meaty sound of Leave the Future Behind to producer Ben Turk who seems to know that louder is certainly better.

Track 6, What Would Arnie Do, offers some of the best this band can muster, a song whose lyrics are a playful parody of the exceptional laws of physics in action movies: “If you’re full of testosterone / You don’t have to reload.” Amen to that – these guys have definitely watched Commando too many times.

Powerful licks against Steve George's clean voice dominate Leave The Future Behind

Just like Arnie, these guys are certainly not wanting for lack of stage presence: frontman Steve George sports a beard and ‘fro combo that rivals Claudio Sanchez’s intimidating countenance.

Steve George’s lilting baritone vocals lend the band’s Foo Fighter-esque riffs a softer edge. Unlike a lot of new bands these days whose vocals rely on dreadfully boring empty-hall after effects (yes, I’m looking at you, The Drums), The Blue Screen of Death manage a clean vocal sound that helps neutralise the blisteringly raw bass under Steve and Pete Davis’ powerful rhythm sections.

Check out track 4, Fool’s Facade, for the sweet-sour relationship between the vocals and rhythm.

But for all the emphasis BSoD put on their quirky nature and experimental side, I can’t help feeling Leave The Future Behind could have played on that edge more: the guitar licks and lilting choruses are great in themselves, but the debut overall could do with some real instrumental variation.

It’s a solid power rock album, make no mistake: there’s just not enough here to commend the album over seeing them live. Perhaps their self awareness as a garage rock band is simply because they haven’t pushed this album as far as I know they could have. As they rise in popularity and think about a third album, I hope they consider the musical power there is in contrasting raw rock with sound bites and playful experimenting.

Despite my reservations on the overall tone of the Leave the Future Behind, I still feel compelled to give this slick upstart band four stars for the raw rock musicality of this album. I mentioned Queens of the Stone Age earlier: the similarity between Homme’s infamously punchy licks and Pete Davis’ own brand of slick distorted riffs and melodious solos should still be enough to leave you suitably moshed.

One this is very clear: this band is set to take more than Southampton by storm if they push themselves further into their particular brand of rock territory. Click here and crank up the volume to give Leave The Future Behind a listen on Bandcamp – it’s worth it.

Check out their promo below: