Blended Brew

Hand Patrones

Written by: AP on 16/07/2015 08:29:17

Without so much as an album to show for it, Danish grungy hard rockers Blended Brew seem to have enjoyed more success than most of their established compatriots. Since 2011, the band has toured the United States for six months, and even made the trip to China for concerts, television interviews and radio spots, thus putting together an enviable curriculum vitae for themselves. Fast forward four years, and Blended Brew have at last released their much-awaited debut album, "Hand Patrones", which distinguishes itself above all by the experience sheening from virtually all of the 12 tracks on offer.

The band's influences are as diverse as they are many: the rhythm section courtesy of drummer Mads Bunch Johansen and bassist Mathias Jørgensen, and the funky style of guitar wielding frontman Jimmy Månsson and lead guitarist Mikkel Toustrup pays initial homage to Incubus, before the groove laden, larger-than-life "Attention" exposes the truth about the group's substantial Pearl Jam and Stone Temple Pilots listening habits. Move onto the Southern lacings of "Stepping on the Sun", and a certain ZZ Top has crept into the frey as well to produce a no frills rock piece brought to life by Sebastian Groset's elegant use of piano and the Hammond organ; before arriving at the consummate highlight "Prisoner Son", a soulful and affected, blues ridden rock ballad utilising to fantasic effect Groset's skills on the blues harp. His use of that instrument in liaison with the subtlety of Toustrup's muted picking and the emotive, strained singing of Månsson, gives rise to a devastatingly brooding atmosphere on par with Pet the Preacher's moodiest tracks and quickly proves one of Blended Brew's most potent weapons in the struggle to stand out amongst the legions of similar artists dotting the world. Last track "Secrets" successfully enlists this approach too in places, nestled around an arena spanning chorus reminiscent of Guns 'N' Roses, thus concluding the album on a high note and earmarking Blended Brew as a band worth keeping an eye on.

But outside of the key moments, "Hand Patrones" still feels like a somewhat lacklustre record. Too often does the band lapse into the pitfalls of contrived rhymes (the cheesily anthemic "Glass Jaw" provides a nasty example), ill fitting experimentations (such as the inexplicable psychedelics of "Psycho Echo"), or simply songs that sound like 'that hard rock everyone has heard on the radio, but whom no one can name'. As such, there is too much pressure on the singles to shoulder the weight on "Hand Patrones", with much of the surrounding music readily falling into the anonymous category. More work is required in terms of consistency and, above all, writing those genuinely unforgettable songs with the capacity to push Blended Brew to the next level.

6

Download: Attention, Stepping on the Sun, Prisoner Son, Secrets
For the fans of: Pearl Jam, Stone Temple Pilots, ZZ Top
Listen: Facebook

Release date 30.01.2015
Gateway Records

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