Opening your debut single with a guitar solo which clearly references the style of Manic Street Preacher frontman James Dean Bradfield on MotorCycle Emptiness is nothing if not a ballsy statement of intent.
Building the guitar solo out into a full blown act of contrition confronting themes of alienation, longlines and unremitting desire is, it must be said, even ballsier.
For whichever way you decide to define Limbo you’d be hard pressed to call it much other than a mad, proud, evocative statement of intent from a young, ambitious, group keen not just to have people listen to their music; but also for their music to be effective and impactful.
Evidently designed to raise the profile of the Blackouts, and pave the way for future, similarly literary, singles, Limbo catches the Darlington indie/alternative four-piece keen to start on the front foot and to avoid any ‘soft’ introductions.
Melodic and magnetic from the outset, the beauty of Limbo is contained in the song’s structure; the single cleverly breaking itself into a number of minor in-song ‘acts’, small segments which bridge the piece from its rock-heavy guitar introduction through to its driven middle segment and eventually onto the decline of our main character as he is left to ponder his current status of catharsis and, well, as we’re advised consistently, limbo.
Absolutely central to the track, aside from the emotive lead guitar lines, is the fine literary narrative which conjures the sense that our main character has complete mixed emotions about a relationship and his next steps. Presenting the complexities of love, and the often power-battles which play out in relationships, our lead presents both his need for love from his current lover (‘Somethings gotta change round here, cause when I need her she disappears’) whilst also informing us that this relationship has the character of a toxic one; something that’s leaving our lead in a state of desperation and longingness (‘I don’t where we’re going, cause what you said isn’t what you’re showing’).
Ending with the lines ‘don’t want to be alone’ we’re as unsure as the lead character is of the next steps. We’re also left in a state of limbo.
Loud, proud and full of ambition Blackout The Arcade want their debut to leave you in anything but limbo when it comes to how you view them.