The Worst Show On Earth by Evil BlizzardRelease date: June 8, 2018
Label: Cracked Ankles Records
There is always a risk for bands who partake in a full blown visual spectacle that they may find themselves in a position where their showmanship could overshadow the music itself. For Lancashire’s masked, horror clown-esque clad troupe and the late Mark E. Smith approved Evil Blizzard, their no hold barred, chaotic, spontaneous driven live shows (their mantra is that they have only ever rehearsed 5 times) could do. Don’t get me wrong, their first two albums are good but for those who have seen them in a live context will get my drift, for those who haven’t, scan the gig listings in your area and book tickets now and join the Blissheads for an avalanche of surrealist fun.
Evil Blizzard went into the studio with a couple of songs penned that have already graced their live set, to then mostly record it all in one take. Depending on what night you see them perform live you can be treated to a songs (ish) set or at the other end of the spectrum the free-form anything goes sonic adventurism noise fest. With Kevin McNamara (Embrace) as producer The Worst Show On Earth captures the band displaying it all, and more.
Named after an unimpressed reviewer’s summoning up gig review, The Worst Show On Earth – self-deprecating wit is another band hallmark – is the sound of a band flexing out as their post punk darkness, psychedelic layered freakiness, krautrock experimental wig-outs, are all still the main thrust, but this time splurged with even more varied influences being thrown into the mixer, pulverising techno, glam rock stomp, disco bounce, Industrial edge, and what gets unearthed at the other end is…. Evil Blizzard!!
Just look at the weird, disconcerting album cover, and what lies inside lives up to its promise. From the opening piano motif of ‘Hello’ leads into an early P.I.L-esque rhythm and a rousing chorus, leap inducing thumper. ‘Fast Forward Rewind’ is an acid tinged, post punk disco stomp. And the ironically titled, post punk drive, euphoric rave vibe of ‘Unleash The Misery’ is exhilarating. ‘Those We Left Behind’ whips up a dense, heavier groove, including a “yeah yeah” chant along, for extra measure. The density of sound is always brilliantly offset by a thumping rhythm on all the above as well as on ‘Like A God’ and ‘Tell Me’. Although consisting of four bassists and a drummer you could argue the whole band is one rhythm section but the expansion of keyboards, cello, piano, and samples, the sonic frequency is enhanced superbly.
Then just when you think they have firmly got their post-punky, funky, glammy, ravey, stomping boots firmly on the closing two, ten minutes long, tracks take you right into their dense, moody drone eerie zone. ‘Pull God From The Sky’ ascends to a thunderous climax. The closing title track has the piano motif and the words of German artists Arne Wald intro from ‘Hello’ running through the whole ten minutes building to an all-consuming crescendo wall of sound finish.
The fact that BBC 6 Music have been playing both ‘Fast Forward Rewind’ and ‘Hello’ are signs that their music is now fully up there to shoulder barge with all the other elements of what make Evil Blizzard so relevant and needed for our uncertain, strange, jaundiced times. The much-needed release from the pressure of the modern age, which The Worst Show On Earth provides, can now be heard and ‘ruin’ the comfort of your home in-between those essential nights out at one of their shows.
Evil Blizzard, with their third album are now the full package. The Worst Show On Earth is a dark trip with bangin’ melodies; the sound of a band who continue to know exactly what they are doing and who are at the peak of their creative powers. And it gate-crashes straight into my album of the year contenders shortlist. Side, Filthydirty, Prowler, Kav, Stomper, Blizzpig……Keep on unleashing the misery.