By Josh Loynes
When was the last time anyone north of a subjective line between the Watford Gap and the Peak District descaled a kettle? Or bought a Brita water filter (as advertised on Channel 4) to purify their harder-than-concrete tap water before drinking? Or paid over £6 for a pint outside of an O2 venue? If it wasn’t within the last few months, then pat yourself on the back, because in all likelihood you’ve already achieved Blanketman’s latest mission statement.
When describing any music with a somewhat post-punk edge to it, particularly when it originates in Manchester, it is often a struggle not to bring up The Fall as a comparison. After all, they’ve gone above and beyond their quota for influencing newer bands. But ponder for a second the idea that such a comparison might not just be used as a description of harsh guitars, cryptic lyrics and avant-garde song writing, but as a sentiment somewhat shared about geographical preferences (See Hit the North, Leave the Capitol, etc). Amongst the more anorak inclined post-punk fans, there is a tremendous amount of chatter in online message boards about the overall message of The Fall’s Hit the North, whether it is really endorsing or more dismissive of God’s own wasteland. But regardless of where you fall in that heavyweight debate, the links and inspiration shine clearly through and the message preached by Blanketman leaves little to discuss- Leave the South.
Hurtling along the song busts forth with a frenetic pace, a tumbling rhythm of spiky guitars and thundering drums, ducking and weaving with its melody and barrelling along to an anthemic chorus. The title chant, “LEAVE THE SOUTH!” rings out clear and distinct with Adam Hopper’s lyrics delving into the disparities of southern living and arriving at a decision – “Maybe it’s about time I took a train, I don’t think they’d miss me anyway”. Exceptional bass playing is another Fall comparison that’s fair to make- never idle Jeremy Torralvo’s bass bounces exponentially upwards and forwards throughout the track, perfectly countering the skittering guitars dissonantly descending throughout the aforementioned chorus.
Comparisons can’t just be limited to Mr Smith’s back catalogue however, as the somewhat sarcastic and tongue in cheek patriotism baked into the core of the song paints the whole piece with a recognisably Kinks-esque flavour and sense of humour- indulging in while also sticking two fingers up at classic Britishisms. As a result, the track then is able to stand upon its own two feet as more than just a pretty well written and exciting song – but instead as an exciting taste of what is to come. More like this please, Blanketman!
Blanketman’s debut EP, National Trust will be released on the 19th of March this year, via Pias.