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The Blinding Light Junebug

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01. White Flag 02. Crippler 03. Whiteout 04. Void 05. Cold Metal/Cold Machine 06. Blvd 07. Holy Ghost 08. Chainsmoker 09. Junebug
2009 Init Records
Our score 7

by Nick
8/18/2009

It's been a full five years since The Blinding Light last put some riffs to tape. Blame a three year hiatus for getting in the way, but with Junebug as evidence, these five dudes are still more than capable of churning out some impressively punishing metallic hardcore. Admittedly, I tend to embrace this type of stuff, but with The Blinding Lights' stellar execution of the genre staples -- thick riffs, pummeling drumming, and absolutely vicious vocals -- I doubt that I'll be alone on this one. Junebug shows that not much has changed in the way of the band's list of influences; Converge's chaos, mid-era Entombed's riffs, and the pounding nature of '90s hardcore all fight for the spotlight. But it's The Blinding Light's balance between the three and the perfectly gritty delivery that truly stand out here. It's hard not to get excited about the Wolverine Blues-type riff in "Whiteout" or the effortless transition from blasting mayhem to big grooves in "Crippler." On the whole, however, their songwriting has taken a step in the direction of more thoroughly developed (though not quite "epic") compositions. Part of this can be attributed to a few well-placed clean singing sections that aid in dynamics. "Whiteout," "Blvd," and "Holy Ghost," and "Chainsmoker" all tap into this trick, and benefit tremendously. And part of this developed feel can be traced to the eight minute closing title track. It's quite a contrast to the blistering shotgun blast of the opener, "White Flag," but it possesses a few Jane Doe-esque touches that once resonated so deeply with my teenage self. It is one part good songwriting and one part nostalgia; I'm into it. There's definitely a lot of praise in store for this record. Even after a significant break, The Blinding Light continues to nail a lot of the staples that made late '90s metallic hardcore so great, and Junebug has a few new touches to successfully differentiate itself from the band's earlier recordings. The only thing holding this album back is the knowledge that this frenzied metallic hardcore blend has been done many times over. And while I certainly have a huge spot in my record collection for the style, I can also acknowledge that as good as this is, it's not quite mind-blowing. Nevertheless, these guys do what they do extremely well, and their return is definitely welcomed. Bottom Line: If you dig that late '90s sound that is equal parts metal, hardcore, and general chaos, then The Blinding Light's Junebug is right up your alley. Fans of the band from five years ago will notice a few touches that give the tracks a more developed, flowing feels, all without sacrificing their intense gritty approach. It won't go down in history, but this is a good record regardless.

13 comments

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First_ 8/18/2009 8:29:39 PM

First


Second_ 8/18/2009 8:32:51 PM

Second


anonymous 8/18/2009 8:48:26 PM

this guy needs to either stop reviewing immediately or join the ranks of his fellow idiots over at pitchfork. good band, utterly embarassing review.


eadup_ 8/18/2009 9:10:59 PM

love ascension attempt and glass bullet. this album was a bit of a letdown, but still solid.


Nowonmai_ 8/18/2009 10:35:58 PM

not disappointing. stick with it. no more nodes of ranvier please.


Nick_ 8/18/2009 10:53:52 PM

"flowing feels." whoops.


RobbyRed_ 8/19/2009 8:40:43 AM

Top five albums of the year.


Devin_ 8/19/2009 11:33:55 AM

Must get this record stat.


Andrew_ 8/19/2009 12:36:57 PM

WOW Ive heard nothing of this until now, Must Buy


anonymous 8/19/2009 3:48:34 PM

Yeah, what a terrible review. How dare that dude actually come off as sounding halfway competent. Any words over three syllables long are only bullshit those gays at pitchfork use!


complete_slore_ 8/20/2009 6:22:28 AM

"Wolverine Blues-type riff" What the f*ck is that supposed to mean?


anonymous 8/20/2009 8:00:04 AM

Listen to Entombed's Wolverine Blues...


Godfather_ 8/20/2009 9:06:18 PM

Not hearing any entombed at all but the start to crippler sounds like Mars: Bringer of war.