Blindside misses mark with recent album

By Mislav Forrester

Contributing Writer

Blindside – With Shivering Hearts We Wait

Post-hardcore

June 7, 2011 / INO Records


Four years after their last musical release, Blindside released “With Shivering Hearts We Wait.” Unfortunately, the time doesn’t seem well spent. The band’s most recent album lacks the intensity of both their self-titled album, “Blindside,” and “A Thought Crushed My Mind.” It is missing the  melodiousness of “Silence and About A Burning Fire,” the dark atmosphere and diversity of “The Great Depression” and the focus of the concise but impressive “The Black Rose EP” (released digitally in 2007).

So, what is it exactly? Unfortunately, it is unremarkable, a real letdown coming from a usually unpredictable band. The album opener “There Must Be Something in the Water” starts with a promising riff before moving into very familiar-sounding territory. Would it hurt Blindside to open an album with a fast-paced rocker for once? The song isn’t bad, but it pales in comparison to “The Way You Dance,” the opener from “The Black Rose EP”.

“My Heart Escapes” comes off as diluted and lacking focus. The next track, “Monster on the Radio,” is by far the worst song Blindside has ever recorded, an uncharacteristically bland song that sounds like an attempt to capture the sound (but not the charm) of Switchfoot. “It’s All I Have” provides the first real highlight, a song propelled by some great melodic singing, adding to the sonic palette for which Blindside is known. “Bloodstained Hollywood Ending” suffers a fate similar to “Monster On The Radio,” though to a lesser extent. It sounds as if Blindside is trying to replicate the radio-friendly aspects of Switchfoot and recent Papa Roach.

“Our Love Saves Us” is another uninteresting track that goes absolutely nowhere. Fortunately, it is immediately dwarfed by the only real rocker on the album, “Bring Out Your Dead.” This song revives the old Blindside spirit with intensity and volume. The final track “There Must Be Something in the Wind” drifts around for five minutes or so before breaking into some interesting electronics, foreshadowed by earlier songs such as “[Phatbat 1303],” “Where The Sun Never Dies” and “My Alibi.” The question one might ask is, why have they waited until the last two minutes of the album (except for the promising “Bring Out Your Dead”) to surprise the listener?

“With Shivering Hearts We Wait” is a frustrating and disappointing album from a usually interesting, though occasionally inconsistent, group who has never previously attempted so diligently to sound mainstream. With only 10 tracks at 38 minutes, the album is almost as short as “The Black Rose EP,” but contains significantly less musical substance. The influence that side project Lindforest has had on this album can be only speculative. For casual fans, this album is not to be recommended, as it is definitely the worst album Blindside has released.

 

Highlights: “It’s All I Have,” “Bring Out Your Dead”

 

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