Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Mean Little Blanket - Blast Off!

The thought occurred to me the other day after reading a Facebook post about 2014 music. I haven't actually listened to or reviewed much of it lately. I'm remedying that with something very new, from a pretty unknown band. Mean Little Blanket are a three piece from the States and Blast Off! is their debut album. They describe themselves as math and jazz-laden hard rock band and take influence from bands like Between The Buried And Me, Coheed And Cambria and Incubus. Not a bad selection and a big hint as to what you're gonna get musically.


1. Don't Be Scared It's Only A Crescendo
2. Everybody's Good
3. Bermuda
4. Wide Eyed
5. Inner Mission
6. Your Monster, My Ancestor
7. Samhain
8. Sweet 16
9. Power Wash
10. Carthage

In terms of technicality, Mean Little Blanket were pretty accurate with their influences. Straight from the off, Don’t Be Scared It’s Only A Crescendo is full of off-kilter time signatures and poly-rhythms.  It’s features very assured musicianship especially in the more introspective, jazzy sections and the vocals of Corey Dozier are clean and compliment the music well. It’s also an ambitious opener at just over nine minutes in length, but they can justify it solely by the quality of the mid-section guitar solo.
Mean Little Blanket abandon the uber-mathy on Everybody’s Good, but writing a really danceable rock song that stays that brings to mind the Chilli Peppers, with the exception a little prig flirtation in the middle. The breadth of their music creativity continues at pace with Bermuda, where they tackle blues/country guitar with added rock swagger. There is lot going on Blast off! so you won’t be in for an easy ride, but then if you’re used to progressive rock and metal, you’ll be aptly prepared to be pulled and pushed in opposing directions on a dime.

Mean Little Blanket seem to have stumbled upon something great here. They have the kind of sound that will appeal to both heavy music fans and traditional rock fans. Wide Eyed has the intelligence to be both easy to listen to and technical, which is testament to the band’s writing. It’a helped a lot by a more focused song structure and really good production. They go from Wide Eyed to Inner Mission, which is a mammoth of a song at over twelve minutes. You know what to expect here. That’s right, pretty of semi-improv jazz and experimental sensibilities. This is where each member’s skill really comes into it’s own. For a moment, you forget that you’re listening to a progressive rock album and are transported to a hip jazz bar somewhere. It’s bloody good.

Following that, Mean Little Blanket head back in an earlier direction with Your Monster, My Ancestor. It’s a briefer song all round but still features plenty of math-elements and some great riffs. They follow immediately with Samhain and the first hint of their obvious fondness of Coheed And Cambria (which I also share). Sweet 16 is a blinder. Okay it’s short by their terms, but it has the same danceable swagger that Everybody’s Good did earlier and it pokes fun at popular prom queens. What’s not to like. With penultimate song Power Wash and closer Carthage, Mean Little Blanket prove they’ve well and truly settled into Blast Off! and as musicians in general. This album ain’t just for rock lovers/ it’s for music lovers and I’m converted. Hopefully, more people will check them out too.

You can stream the entire album via the band's Soundcloud page here - 


Mean Little Blanket Website - http://www.meanlittleblanket.com/Home_Page.html
Mean Little Blanket Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/meanlittleblanket

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