Thursday 28 December 2023

Blind Girls - Residue

Labels: Self-Released/Zegema Beach Records/Left Hand Label

Formats: Vinyl/Tape/Digital

Release Date: 13 Nov 2018


1. Breaths

2. 3AM

3. Loss Forms A Sequence

4. Exertion

5. Visitant

6. The Ghost In My Eye

7. Dormant

8. Cherish

9. Discarded Pictures

10. Nightshade

11. Burial

A few more days of 2023 remain and while I'm looking ahead to what 2024 has in store musically, I'm trying to press on with a bit more consistency. One thing that's been (fairly) consistent throughout the year has been my Zegema Beach Records roster review series. The series brings me to Australian power-violence/screamo royalty Blind Girls and their 2018 debut album. It was self-released on vinyl and digital platforms by Blind Girls with help from Zegema Beach Records in 2018 (whom also released it as a limited tape run), while a second vinyl pressing by both ZBR and Left Hand Label followed in 2020 (I'm basing all of this info on what's available on Discogs so I hope it's accurate). 

Blind Girls have never wasted time or breath on their releases, with Residue hitting it’s marks straight away thanks to ‘Breaths’. I’ve owned a copy of the 2020 re-press since it’s release but it never gets old. The screeching feedback, high-pitched piercing screams and oft indecipherable instrumentation beneath make for an exhilarating start. Things don’t change on ‘3AM’, as the band continues to deliver super abrasive noise that’s big enough to exfoliate your inner ears. 

You’d think that things would settle down during the near three-minute song ‘Loss Forms A Sequence’, but they don’t. Instead, the noisy chaos is joined by subtle off-kilter/mathy guitar work and percussion. It’s not long before things return to normal thanks to ‘Exertion’, which benefits from the best of both side of BG’s sound so far, with added introspection/post-ness.

‘Visitant’ promises something more ambient and rhythmic, which it delivers. At times it threatens to overspill back into powerviolence territory but it remains an instrumental breather that’s in a class all of it’s own. The feedback that closes it out leads straight into ‘The Ghost In My Eye’, which features some gloriously cinematic guitar as an intro before being shattered by another bout of intensity. 

The latter half of Residue picks up in momentum as ‘Dormant’ takes up it’s brief residency. Another song that isn’t shy in coming forward. ‘Cherish’ makes you think it’s going to be more melodic in the riff department, which actually is the case for a large part of it, yet there’s no escaping BG’s emotive, all-encompassing performance where their emotion is front and centre.

We’re now nearing the album’s conclusion and ‘Discarded Pictures’ gives the impression of a band playing two different songs at once (at times) as it builds, plateaus and descends, all in the space of two minutes. Penultimate song ‘Nightshade’ once again provides a glimpse into the more technical side of BG’s music and in doing so, it also lays a path for the most heavily layered/engrossing song on the album so far.

Closer ‘Burial’  follows that same path in glorious fashion without any hesitation. The more expansive sound created by Blind Girls during these two final songs is the highlight of Residue for me. For some reason it just hits harder. Living with albums like this before writing about them is a privilege but writing this review makes me realise that I need to spend more time with them. Everything is so fast paced nowadays and I sometimes struggle to focus on individual details/elements of life. Maybe that’s something to work on next year.

You can stream and purchase Residue digitally below:-

Blind Girls -

Physical vinyl copies are still available via Left Hand Label below:-

Zegema Beach Records -

Left Hand Label -

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