Monday 27 August 2018

Tailblock - Think Or Be

Labels: Self-Released
Formats: CD/Digital
Release Date: 13 Jul 2018


1. Think Or Be
2. Heavy Arms
3. Rocket
4. Blisters
5. Listen
6. 100

"Emotional hardcore", as Kent trio Tailblock call their music, is a funny thing. On the one hand you've got Emo (often split into two camps depending on lazy journalists), which is built on emotions and sensitivity and then there's hardcore, which is decidedly more angry yet also positive to some degree. The two sub-genres have been mixed together countless times over the years and will continue to be.

The above paragraph doesn't really have any baring on this review, it was just mere musing about a form of alternative music where the wheel is yet to be truly reinvented. "Think Or Be" is Tailblock's second EP and it follows their debut "Burn Your Bridges, which was released in December 2016. The UK has produced a lot of very good bands in recent years, so here's hoping that Tailblock can be added to that list.

I’m still very much nostalgic when it comes to post-hardcore/emo. I grew up listening to Drive-Thru Records pop-punk and emo, as well as wearing out early Funeral For A Friend EPs and albums. I never considered the likes of My Chemical Romance or Brand New to truly represent that sort of sub-genre and was just discovering straight-edge and ever tough-guy hardcore. The music has no doubt evolved (If you could call it that) since those days, but finding bands that truly stand out is getting harder. This in turn makes it hard for bands like Tailblock, but moving passed that and focusing on their music alone is easier when the EP’s title-track starts. It’s melodic and subtly American-accented vocals remind you of the influences that are ingrained in young bands now. The music itself is definitely more British in delivery though, with a noisy and urgent feel that takes more from UK punk of old. 

They’re good at writing catchy songs as well, as Heavy Arms shows. There are obvious comparisons that could be made but leaving those aside, Tailblock seem to be straddling the right side of the line when it comes to genuine, heartfelt music. Rocket has all the makings of an anthem for those who are more introspective and introverted, dragging them out the other side with more purpose and belief. If a song can do that then it must be worth your time. With no warning, Tailblock go from earnest emo to sassy hardcore on Blisters. The choruses are still melodic but not cheesy and the guitars and drums underneath still rage for the majority of the song, before ending on a nice instrumental note.

“Think Or Be” heads back to a more comforting port on Listen and the sassy hardcore is replaced by huge riffs and a cinematic sound that isn’t out of place at all when held up against the rest of the EP. At least Tailblock are using experimentation and variation in their music, which again is a very British habit. It’s attention grabbing for the right reasons. They end the EP with the song 100, which moves in the form of a semi-acoustic track that shows off more sensitive song-writing once again. “Think Or Be” is a great EP and Tailblock have clearly focused a lot on their song-writing and have taken their time with it as well. If they continue to write music in this vein, without watering it down then they will surely grow in reputation and play to bigger and bigger audiences.

You can stream "Think Or Be" below, where it's also available to purchase digitally and on CD:-

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