I remember going to see The Blackout when they toured their second album The Best In Town back in 2009. A bunch of rowdy Welsh blokes, (one with peroxide blonde hair), screaming, shouting and rocking a huge cover of Willow Smith’s ‘Whip Your Hair’, we loved it. The Blackout’s duel vocalist combination provided angry screams and powerful clean vocals; they came out with big riffs and bigger choruses. The Blackout seemed to have the perfect niche to exploit, heavier than the likes of You Me at Six and Paramore, but not quite ‘emo’ and angry enough to become intimidating. Best of all, The Blackout were naturally fun.
It is a shame then, that three years later their ultimate party song just turns out to be a big cliché-ridden, genre-less mess, that shoves having a good time right down your throat. It is hard to know where to being with ‘Start The Party’. As the video explains, (in far too much detail) that instead of doing a normal music video, the band decide to go and splash it all on a holiday to Ibiza, where they meet up with a certain Pritchard from Dirty Sanchez and have a boozy party on a big boat. It seems like the premise for the video came even before the song was written so the lyrics “start the party, tell everybody, we’re never going home” must have been very hastily drawn up to not waste all the money. ‘Start The Party’ is a confused attempt at a summer anthem, by a band that made their name playing bonkers gigs at sweaty venues in Wales, not sunning themselves in Ibiza. Even worse is the P.A.R.T.Y section, which sounds like a cameo from Ke$ha, before continuing into more weak riffs and bland verses whilst we have to watch Sean Smith and the gang fall off a banana boat.
Maybe though The Blackout have mastered satire, making us look twice at our own drinking culture. Maybe they are warning us of the effects of having too much of a good time. Or maybe you should listen to The Blackout before they became chummy with daytime radio; The Blackout who followed in the footsteps of Funeral for a Friend or Lostprophets not Katy Perry and Miley Cyrus. Obviously opening a gig or festival set ‘Start The Party’ will go down a treat, but when you want to listen to original and interesting rock music, look elsewhere.