The Times once famously reviewed Queen’s ‘Tie your Mother down’ with the quote “sheer bloody poetry”. We were so taken with this idea we decided a more direct link between music and poetry was needed. Hence ‘Haiku Review’; 17 syllables of summary applied to some of the world’s best new music…
I came to Evil Blizzard (appropriately enough) completely cold. I had no idea who they were and that appears to be the way they want it. They wear masks, and given the industrial helpings of bad acid and religious mockery that characterises their schtick, they are unlikely to make an appearance on The One Show anytime soon.
Their music is dark and powerful but their attitude is thankfully self-aware. In terms of capturing the Evil Blizzard spirit you really need to look back to the early ’80s: the age of VHS video nasties and the sort of fully immersive counter-culture exemplified by new-age travellers.
The sound is post-punk, but it is the freshly post, post-punk of PiL, Mark Stewart and the Pop Group and the myriad of fiercely independent festival bands you have almost certainly never heard of. It reminds me of the days before Glastonbury was trapped within a steel fence and double locked with a ridiculous entrance fee that outlawed the free-thinking people who built that #Glasto (#nbury) legend. In those days the travellers were welcomed in for free, and indeed most stationary people felt happy to just walk in without paying.
Of course, as a business model this never made sense but there was a time when the words ‘Glastonbury’ and ‘business model’ didn’t belong in the same sentence. You would only discover an act like Evil Blizzard at 4am on the outskirts of the green field if you had taken some particularly malevolent acid and found yourself completely lost. It was a lawless age without cash machines, phone signals and waves of middle class day-trippers. Tabitha, Esme and the other 6th-form gals wouldn’t touch it with a barge pole. Evil Blizzard would be cruelly dismissed as totes the opposite of Clean Bandit.
Despite the I Spit on Your Grave styling, the actual music has a little more about it than simply being retro. The production is crisp enough to rinse out a sound system or scramble your brains on a headset. There is a modern sonic sheen to the psychedelic ramblings of these anonymous madmen, like a sharp, sour candy coating around a poisoned apple. The imagery is Evil Dead-style fun, and whilst I fear there appears to be a total lack of deeper meaning, the catchphrase choruses about evil, drugs and fictitious religious organisations provide enough spice to illicit a rambling hot-knife philosophy in any rented kitchen.
What I really like about Evil Blizzard is that they really don’t give a shit whether you like them or not. They have a noise to make and you are not going to stop them. This joyous middle-fingering covers up the cracks and arouses the listener to a point where asking flatulent questions about meaning, politics and society seem less interesting than getting right off your box and going fucking mental.
And what the fuck is that noise?
Evil kids, evil.
Eamon Murtagh (@eops)