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Blacklist Union


Blacklist Union formed back in 2004 by frontman Tony West. They released their debut album in 2006 titled After The Mourning. Their follow-up arrived in 2008 and the third album hit stores in 2012. The latter included tracks like “Alabama Slammer” and “Diggin’ for Gold.” The band tour nationally and has continued to grow into the international waters. The guys are back again with their fourth release Back to Momo which features 13 tracks and an intro tune. They get the album going with that short intro. The quick 35 second track runs right into the first real track of the record, “Alive and Well Smack in the Middle of Hell.” The track is a fun little track with a variety of vocals types and a great guitar sound. They really let those guitars fly around with special sections, solos, and cords all over the place. It opens the meat of the album up with a great sound and something you can get into fairly easily. “Shake It Off” is a low key track with smooth long drawn out vocals that offer up a catchy set of lyrics. Those lyrics are easy to follow along with and will get a large crowd singing right along with the band. The music is fabulous! The guitars are amazing throughout the track and the solo is tremendous. The track does seem to drag just a bit in some spots as it because stagnant, but it’s still a decent tune. “Mirror, Mirror On The Wall” is a fast moving track with huge guitars that will knock your socks off. They hit some incredible highs and rip off some great solo sections. The vocals are also flying all over the place and they insert some backing vocals (that have some effects on them). The track does repeat a lot, a little more than my liking, but the vibe of the track makes up for it somewhat. I think it will do well live, but radio wise I don’t see it doing much. “Evil Eye” slows the tempo down some with a more drum driven tune. They hit hard throughout the entire track, but may be overshadowed by the insane guitar solo about 3 minutes in. The vocals have a little bit of a southern whine to them while they offer up some cool lyrics. Some of which don’t transition as well as I think they could, but they don’t sound terrible either. “Superjaded” opens up with a great intro that instantly gets you into the mood to rock. I love the vibe of this track, its killer. The guitars are sweet and will have you busting out the air guitar for sure. The vocals all work well together, while the offering up a set of lyrics that you sing along with. It sounds great and something I would listen to time and time again. “Rock N Roll Outlaw” is an okay track that holds some value with your ears. There are spots that I liked and spots that I thought could have been tightened up. It does seem to drag on just a bit though. This is one of those tracks that you don’t skip, but you don’t skip to either. The solo section is good enough to get your attention while you are doing something. “Back To Momo” offers up more of the same that you have already heard. It rolls along with some whiney vocals that are set back in somewhat. They do put a spin on them with some effects which sounds cool. The tunes are really the star of the track which includes a huge highflying intro. “We Are Not Saints” moves the album along with a fast moving tune with multiple vocals/styles floating in and out of the tune. The music sounds decent, but there are a lot of moments that you swear you heard before. It’s a decent tune all the way around and something you wouldn’t skip if it came up. “It’s All About You” is a low key track that really never gained any speed in my opinion. It runs and runs, but it’s kind of like it’s on a hamster wheel, it never gets anywhere. The vocals are okay and the tunes are decent, it just lacks something. “Meet Me on Zen Street” offers up some cool little moments, but after you listen to the rest of the album before it you get a little bored. It might be the vocals that do it, but if you weather that storm the track doesn’t sound half bad. “Graveyard Valentine” offer up a killer intro with huge guitars and a great vibe. They quickly give way to the vocals with are a little whiney again. They don’t sound as bad as some, but there have been better ones on the album as well. The track ends pretty abruptly and some of the transitions are sharp. I really wasn’t feeling the tune much at all. “Wined, Dines, 69’D” repeats a ton. The vocals are extremely whiney and get old very very quickly. There are moments were the tunes step it up and you can almost stand to stay around, but then even that goes by the wayside. This track is hard to take. “Read Between the Lines” ends the album on a good note. The vocals change things up just a bit and the guitars rage on. The track is a little odd, but a good odd. I actually could get into this one somewhat. The transitions are cleaner in my opinion. The vibe is a little more of a dull sound, but the vocals aren’t as whiney as some of the others. Those two things together turn the track into something top notch. Overall, I had a hard time getting into this album. I really did dig the music, especially the guitars. They got to fly high in nearly every track and really pushed the songs to a good place. The drums also weren’t that bad with a mixture of steady foundation styles and driving, hard hitting ones. For me it was the vocals that I struggled with. While there were good moments spread throughout the album a lot of the vocals were hard to get into. The lyrics were written okay, but you had to read the book most of the time to get them. The recording of the record seemed extremely raw, which is not all bad. I do like the fact that they went that way, but I think they took it too far. They have a unique sound and I applaud them for that, but a small adjustment and this could have a great album.

Rating: 5.5 out of 10

Tracks to Watch:



Track List:

1.     Alive and Well Smack in the Middle of Hell

2.     Shake it Off

3.     Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

4.     Evil Eye

5.     Superjaded

6.     Rock N Roll Outlaw

7.     Back to Momo

8.     We Are Not Saints

9.     It’s All About You

10.  Meet Me on Zen Street

11.  Graveyard Valentine

12.  Wined, Dined, 69’D

13.  Read Between the Lines

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