Monster Sounds: Blacklisted – When People Grow, People Go.

By - Monday, March 2nd, 2015

“There is no easy way to explain
When people grow
people go”

And thus ends Blacklisted’s ‘When People Grow, People Go‘ an album replete in passion, ferocity & honesty. Long since needing to prove their worth Blacklisted have grown from a hardcore band who released album after album of intelligent yet crushingly heavy music, to a group teasing at more experimental territory. 

But with ‘When People Grow, People Go’ we see those experimental notions eschewed in favour of their former goliath. And god damn is it exciting. 

From the jarring opening ‘Insulirazed‘ with its erratic high end melodies playing off against a contrasting chorus the tone is set for the album. Celebrated lyricist George Hirschs matching this with repeated ending lines which begin what we will see to become an emotionally dense & layered record.

“We all die, well all die 
We all die disguised
We all die, we all die
We all die disguised”

This pace & intensity scarcely let up, the songs proving heavier and heavier as the album progresses with ‘Calendars‘ not even breaking a minute. There has been nothing held back here, if there was ever a doubt about how they would return given an eclectic back catalogue – this cements their intentions. One distinct change over its duration though is how Georges writing morphs. In the first half we see him lamenting lost contact with ‘Riptide’providing some of the most memorable moments of the album in “Our lives are broken, exploding and floating, time will not be kind, no-one survives” making way for ‘Gossamers’ “even if sometimes I crawl out of my skin, I will always be fine”.

The profound security those lines detail goes on to make itself a figure point, the songs air tight & crushing production courtesy of Will Yip forming a solid foundation upon which George can continue to profess a strong self-reliance, but one that is bathed in deep insecurities. It is an album showing every element of what makes Blacklisted so successful, the rhythm section constantly encapsulating the pace, ferocity & song structure of a timeless modern hardcore band whilst the lyrics confrontational honesty allows for an accessibility which this kind of music may not always resonate. 

“You were seething to see I’ve strengthened
tough bones and perfect skin
I finally left Pennsylvania 
and its entire world of shit “

Despite this, I would label the albums downfall as it being perhaps too simple in these song structures, we know that they can make this kind of music and it is perhaps an album which strays far too safe in its demonstration of this. The riffs are still infectious enough to keep you entertained throughout and there are some genuinely brilliant songs on here but there is nothing I would signal as groundbreaking. 

By the end of the album there is an emotional closure – the pace slowly gently but remaining defiant. The previously built inner strength turns to advice for the listener, this perhaps the hardest hitting element of the entire LP, sealing what will come to be seen as a triumphant for the band – albeit perhaps a safe one. 

“There is no easy way to explain
When people grow
people go”

Buy ‘When People Go, People Grow’ HERE.

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