Blood Command - Ghostclocks (Fysisk Format)

Norweigans come good on their debut.

Released Dec 20th, 2010 via Fysisk Format / By Jack Sibley
Blood Command - Ghostclocks (Fysisk Format) Last year, whilst trying to familiarise myself a bit more seriously with the current Norwegian music scene, I stumbled (or perhaps fell headfirst is more appropriate) across an attitude-heavy trio with a female voice (provided by the remarkable Silje Tombre) that grabbed my attention like a baited fish hook. After listening to the Five Inches of a Car Accident EP on repeat for a couple of weeks I was hungry for more and Ghostclocks – Blood Command’s first full length album - certainly delivers.

At a quick glance, Ghostclocks can come across a bit weak and, having had friends walk in and ask why I’m listening to Paramore, I have quickly become aware of its weaknesses. This argument is strengthened by a quick game of ‘spot-the-single’ in which ‘Alarm All Assassins’ comes out a clear winner. With its chanting refrain of ‘Woah’ it’s fairly unimaginative and is leaning dangerously close to the realm of empty-headed poppy punk the likes of which tend to bring fourteen year-olds with sideways haircuts running like rabid dogs.

However, I implore you to first look past these couple of tracks and, if you must, start with the pummel-fest that is ‘Double T n’ Tokyo’. Clocking in at just under a minute, it’s packed with more aggression than a lot of bands will achieve in their lifetime. Dissonant guitar riffs and lightning-fast drums mix with the rare appearance of male vocals to provide a show of what these guys are capable of when they really want to hurt some auditory nerves.

Another trait that eclipses the innate sappy qualities of a few tracks are Silje’s passionately sung lyrics, tackling subjects such as feminism (‘Red Ruin’) and corporate puppets (‘Incorporate Use of Cloak and Dagger’). The general overarching theme of the album seems to be the band’s hate for their contemporaries’ lack of authenticity. It feels like they’re aware they’re part of a scene that has become fake, popular and a corporate tool and yet they know there’s so much more to it. The lyrics scream with a rage against their sound being used and abused.

So, with this in mind, I believe the album becomes a true great. A strong attempt from an unlikely trio to grab back the music they love from the men in suits that have so dominated this scene in the past years. Of course punk should be angry and these guys have that in cartloads – the same carts they’ve been trawling round Northern Europe for the past two years and are now catapulting across the sea at the biggest skyscrapers they can find. Anger, musicianship, attitude and above all authenticity make Ghostclock's a fantastic wake up call for the rest of the world as to how this genre should be done.