The Waiting: A Bold New Step for Dark Punk?

Blak29 are back with their second album and first in nearly seven years. Featuring members of Danzig, 69 Eyes and Type O Negative, they have plenty of experience and expertise. Let’s see if they can pull it off, shall we?

Opening the album on a simple drum beat, a punk riff soon builds in over the top of ‘Blackout’. The highlight of it is actually the subtle keys in the back, giving it a great driving force and adding a layer of menace to it. The punk vibe continues through the verse as the great vocals come in over the top. The chorus is simple yet massively catchy. It’d go down fantastically live. It’s also very easy to hear the Danzig connections, it’s definitely in that similar, Misfits style. Not much else to say about the track but it was definitely awesome. A great way to open the album!

‘Destroyer’ opens on a VERY punk bass and drum line. It’s very clearly a tribute, their own take on The Kinks’ ‘All Day and All of the Night’, and it’s done in a fantastically fun way. Heck, the over-the-top spoken word at the start is amazing, giving off big ‘Time Warp’ vibes. The gang vocals for the choruses was a nice touch, making it even catchier, and the lead guitar lines in between were also good. The whole track is a lot of fun and easily makes our playlist!

A heavier, sludgier feel runs through ‘Waiting for the Sun to go Down’, feeling more like a Rob Zombie track than anything else. The darker sound fit the mood of the track and lyrics perfectly. The slower chorus was great, definitely marking this as a metal track rather than a punk one. I can’t get over how good the multiple vocals sound on the choruses, it making everything sound massive every time. The vocals in general are a massive highlight on this track, sounding a little Layne Staley as well as Rob. I LOVED this. It’s another huge highlight of the album and another to easily make the playlist.

‘Go Go Little One’ picks back up the pace and punk edge again, feeling almost Wildhearts in its delivery. The bouncy, upbeatness was a nice, fun change of pace again. The album does a great job of keeping the listener on their toes, mixing up plenty of different styles so as not to get bored and bogged down with a lot of the same. The track is just as good as the others so far, catchy and very entertaining!

‘End of Days’ is a dark, plodding and subdued punky number. It’s heavily bass led and builds into a huge chorus with some massive distorted guitars. It gives off Wednesday 13 vibes as well as the usual Danzig ones. Meanwhile ‘Of Love Of Hate Of Pain’ is much like ‘Go Go…’ in it’s faster punk approach. ‘Bleeding Love’ is somewhere in the middle of the two, having a heavy, sludgy feel to it and reminding me a little of some of The Cult’s heavier stuff. I think it’s some of the vocal inflections, they sound very Ian Astbury!

The album’s title track is the most out there track so far, giving off even more Cult vibes as it’s a slow, stripped back song. A simple beat, bassline and guitar line accentuate the vocals well. It leads to some catchy, powerful vocals and an awesome guitar solo in the middle. The wah was done perfectly and it builds amazingly into a final chorus. This is another track that easily makes our playlist!

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‘Don’t Mind the Pain’ brings back the dark punk energy and sounds possibly the closest to Danzig that I’ve heard so far. It’s probably due to more awesome backing vocals in the chorus, making everything sound so powerful. It’s a great, catchy track on an album full of them!

‘I’m Screaming But Nobody’s Here’ is the ballad of the album, but almost takes a turn into folk/Americana music. It’s slow and epic, building through some distorted guitar here and there but generally staying stripped back. Honestly I thought it would explode into a big heavy rock song throughout but it never did. I actually really like that it stayed simple, being completely different to the rest of the album and again feeling fresh. What a great track! It almost felt like it should have been the closing track, as as good as ‘Long Cool Woman’ is as a track, it felt similar to some of the others. Still, both are good songs and the closer feels like it pulls together elements of every other track, rounding things out nicely.

Overall: This was awesome! Considering I hadn’t heard of the band before, they definitely have a new fan in me! It modernised an old sound perfectly and there really wasn’t a back track on the album. Hopefully the band tour the UK soon as I’d love to see them!

The Score: 8.5/10