Blackbird Raum - Nevermind The Ballads [EP] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Blackbird Raum

Nevermind The Ballads [EP] (2016)

Silver Sprocket

Blackbird Raum have followed up to their 2015 full-length Destroying, with a five-track EP titled Nevermind The Ballads, which came out on October 1, 2016. For the most part they continue to do what they do best on this EP, which is record incredibly emotional and dark sounding anarcho folk punk. If you aren’t familiar with the band just know that when they are classified as “folk punk” it isn’t an acoustic guitar or two that are the foundations of their songs. Instead the band is made up of traditional folk instruments like mandolin, accordion, upright bass, washboard, violin etc. and all of the members take part in singing.

The first track “Division” is classic Blackbird Raum in that the vocalists sing this urgent sounding melody over the acoustic instruments that are being played at a fairly fast pace, while a slow accordion chord progression is blended in the background. The title track is also around the same tempo as “Division,” but instead of a few a vocalists singing lead Zach Religious shouts the lyrics until the whole band joins in to sing, “Fighting for power!/Like they know not the hour!”

Of the five tracks on this release two are a little more on the abstract side of the musical spectrum. “Shouting” is literally twenty-two seconds of speaking and yes, shouting over each other saying totally different things. And “Paul Woods’s” is a soulful solo instrumental piece done completely by one violinist.

Nevermind The Ballads is a solid effort by Blackbird Raum. They continue to be one of the few bands that strive to be as different as possible in their genre and punk in general and they definitely succeed. For those haven’t gotten into band yet, I highly recommend checking out Destroying first (the track “Last Legs” was covered by Leftover Crack on Constructs Of The State and both versions are phenomenal) and then giving this release a shot.