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Blacklisted - No One Deserves to Be Here More Than Me [12 inch] (Cover Artwork)

Blacklisted

Blacklisted: No One Deserves to Be Here More Than Me [12 inch]No One Deserves to Be Here More Than Me [12 inch] (2009)
Deathwish Inc.

Reviewer Rating: 4
User Rating:


Contributed by: InaGreendaseBrian
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Blacklisted is the Brand New of hardcore. What? Too outlandish? Evolving their sound so drastically over the years it barely resembles what they were from the start--for the better--or the genre they may have been previously relegated to? Check. Evading common industry norms like doing inte.
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Blacklisted is the Brand New of hardcore.

What? Too outlandish?

  • Evolving their sound so drastically over the years it barely resembles what they were from the start--for the better--or the genre they may have been previously relegated to? Check.
  • Evading common industry norms like doing interviews, as well as in Blacklisted's case, releasing a record with little-to-no prior notice? Check.
  • Playing big shows with legendary bands like it was nothing? Check.
  • Utilizing disparate influences like Nirvana and Neutral Milk Hotel? Check.

The more attentive Blacklisted fans knew the band was recording a new album, yet when No One Deserves to Be Here More Than Me was suddenly released on November 30, it was still kind of a shock. Fans were forced to order the record cold with no preview save for some live performances of the new songs; granted, that's how it used to be, but in the internet age, one imagines it could have been uncomfortably anachronistic for them.

The album itself might throw one for another loop. No One Deserves is a rougher, grittier third full-length, but musically traverses slightly more experimental and noise/grunge-influenced territory than the band have been prone to play. The band's prior LP, last year's Heavier Than Heaven, Lonelier Than God tried out those structures but often found the band sticking to lightning-fast hardcore speeds before skidding to welcoming halts. Nothing on this album ever accelerates, but instead locks itself into a mid-paced, sometimes slower motive with a heavy influence from Nirvana's Bleach, from the intentionally raw, first-take-style performances to guitar riffs and tones, as well as frontman George Hirsch's gravelly, indignant shouts.

Burly, rattling opener "Our Apartment Is Always Empty" goes nearly five minutes long and is the record's longest track by about 50 seconds. It also sets the depressing tone for the album, further finding Hirsch--as in the past--self-critical, self-destructive and a little loathing ("Remember when you brought home that picture of your dad, hung it over the wall as a reminder of what it is to be a man? Well, I was lying when I said I didn't know where it went. I tore it up laughing and I'd do it again."). Much of the track's length is attributed to a point midway through when guest violinist Josh Agran bows a dramatic layer to the song's ebb and flow that, if anything, causes the song to resemble a heavier take on the early Murder by Death stuff before Hirsch comes back in to emphasize the song's points once more.

The Bleach nods come especially during the album's shorter cuts like "Everything in My Life Is for Sale," which lays on a thick, tambourine-assisted groove and post-chorus riff that'll get any fan of good dynamics completely pumped for a minute moment, and "Palisade," which most resembles the band's prior material.

Otherwise, a burbling bass thumps throughout the title track in a method similar to fan favorite "Canonized," while the NMH touches come with the dissonant atmosphere and punctual trumpet playing on the second of three interludes, "G.E.H.," and a stressed, pensive buildup for "I'm Trying to Disappear." "The P.I.G. (The Problem Is G.)" is one of the album's most ambitious takes, an acoustic (!) breather with an extra layer of something or other (more violin? Hard to tell) to keep the sound full. "I Am Extraordinary" features friend Melissa Farley adding gender contrast to another take of Hirsch drawing out his words in a slow drawl, a subtly dynamic finish to the album more or less, since it's followed by "S.M.F.", an unwinding, minute-and-a-half collage of various instruments playing bare rhythmic lines (piano, tape machine, tambourine, etc.).

No One Deserves to Be Here More Than Me is weird, but not quite as much as anyone would perhaps like it made out to be, just like the repeated efforts from the procedural comparison made up high here. By and large what Blacklisted does here is a success, and the arguments it should stir about the boundaries of hardcore alone shows it might set a precedent far larger than itself. And whatever it is, it's one of the year's late entries for highlight lists.

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
Touché Amoré - Parting the Sea Between Brightness and MeRefused - The Shape of Punk to ComeBlacklisted - Heavier Than Heaven, Lonelier Than GodIron Chic - Not Like ThisMake Do and Mend - End Measured MileA Wilhelm Scream - Career SuicidePaint It Black - New LexiconPropagandhi - Supporting CasteA Wilhelm Scream - RuinerBanner Pilot - Collapser

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
hiimarlon (February 28, 2010)

i'm completely satisfied with the direction they're heading. one of my favorites from last year.

MobRulesAll (December 24, 2009)

This album was such a letdown. They aimed high and failed miserably. Heavier Than Heaven was a perfect album, and you can see from there that they were going to delve deeper into experimentation on this one, but the interludes, The P.I.G. and I Am Extraordinary are flat-out shitty. This vocal style was better when used sparingly in the past, not on EVERY single line of every single song.

I'm Trying to Disappear and Everything In My Life is for Sale are great songs. Let's see how the new 7" is going to turn out.

listenup (December 22, 2009)

good review, i agree with the brand new of hardcore analogy.

i never thought blacklisted was all that good before, they just sounded like a generic hardcore band. that being said i think this record is great... except for songs 5, 6, and 7. just take those out of the mix and it would make a stellar album.

dreeeamweaver (December 22, 2009)

hardcore band slows down and finds its groove? sounds like a band evolution similar to the bronx's trajectory to me.

mariachi el blacklisted on the way?

usversusthem (December 21, 2009)

Some of the lyrics here are really startlingly intense in terms of wandering into over-share/maybe you need serious psychiatric help territory, as this review notes. I can't say I don't like the effect, though. This album may grow on me.

nicoledw (December 21, 2009)

Hey Danpib08
If for some reason your code didn't work you can email digital@deathwishinc.com and someone can send you a new one to try out.

Thanks!

danpib08 (December 21, 2009)

It would be awesome if the ZIP Digital Download file that Deathwish sent to me actually worked, then I could make a comment. I need a new turntable.

patcastingout (December 21, 2009)

i could listen to this if i drank the i forget what good music sounds like potion. last all the records were fucking awesome however.

colin (December 20, 2009)

i never really got into blacklisted but i checked this out, wow. certainly a surprise. "i'm trying to disappear" is stellar.

wearestillalive (December 19, 2009)

Initial comparison is enough to make me want to check this out. Any band who evolves like Brand New are probably worth giving the time of day.

Rastid (December 18, 2009)

7 of the 8 songs are great. my problem is that, because it's slower, it doesn't need the 3 interludes. and i think PIG wound up being kind of a failed attempt. so, while it has 7 fucking amazing tracks, it doesn't rival heavier than heaven

elliot (December 18, 2009)

George has one gear as a vocalist, and it gets pretty old after a while. And his singing in "The P.I.G." is soooooo bad! I don't know, it's not a terrible album, it's just so weird and scattered. No focus or clear intent at all.

iamgodsongs (December 18, 2009)

that sounds pretty interesting, i'll probably be getting this under the tree this year, haha. is the quicksand influence still there? i'd be disappointed if it weren't

preston (December 18, 2009)

This album is badass. I can't stop listening to it.

miker (December 18, 2009)

i dig the album a lot, but what gets me more excited is having such a mainstream hardcore band venture off into new territory. i'm hoping this will be the catalyst for a lot more bands willing to experiment.

half_head (December 18, 2009)

i don't really like anything this band has done before, but i really enjoyed some parts on this album. definitely nirvana influenced (i feel it's more in utero than bleach...but it's nirvana nonetheless) but the already slowed down pace is even slower with the instrumental tracks which makes it diffiuclt to get through the whole records without skipping around.

RadToTheMax (December 18, 2009)

This is the hardcore album Fucked Up wish they could make.

danperrone (December 18, 2009)

i dig this album more than anything they've done. it takes risks and makes the listener uncomfortable. i can get behind that.

mikexdude (December 18, 2009)

(seriously, neutral milk hotel?)

It's subtle -- lo fi, haunting accompaniments by other instruments.

iamgodsongs (December 18, 2009)

shit dude, the last record was something special. one of the only "mainstream" hardcore bands doing something worth anything, i look forward to this (seriously, neutral milk hotel?)

mikexdude (December 18, 2009)

I love Blacklisted; I love their last record, and I love this record. The problem is, they always seem to be on to something awesome but never really hit it completely. For example, that acoustic song: AWESOME. But it's not long enough and doesn't really live up to its potential. That said, I predict this band will be together longer than most hardcore bands and after lots of fine tuning, they will eventually release a record that will really be something special.

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