Straight outta Preston we have a gang of horror show freaks here who have been causing a bit of a stir. People in the know have mentioned Evil Blizzard to me in the past and told me I should check them out but so little time and so much music has meant I kept missing the opportunity to do so; that’s until a nice PR offered to send me their new album. ‘The Worst Show On Earth’ is actually the bands 3rd so I have some catching up to do but it is their live performances that are apparently full of mayhem that the band are meant to be quite a spectacle and far from the worst show you can experience. Yep they do play dress up and have daft names such as Stomper, Filthy Dirty and Blizz Pig. They look nothing short of mentalz with masks and blood and the appearance of total lunacy straight out the nearest asylum; oh and yeah, no less than 4 of the 6 members of the group play bass, which is pretty off the wall in itself.
But what do they sound like you quite rightly ask? Well I could well point you towards the video of the opening track here called appropriately ‘Hello’ as an introduction. It was after all mine but I should warn you too, if you find clowns scary do not click on the link at the bottom of the review, mind you the album cover itself will no doubt give you nightmares too but it is all part of the fun of this particularly macabre fair. Also be warned the track is very, very catchy. Evil Blizzard do like a bit of repetition, vocally repeating themselves over and over again but this makes you completely submit to their will. Thick bass chugs in and you are immediately in a post punk void that harks back to the 80’s. I try and work out who the vocals remind me of, it becomes quickly evident later and the chorus hits with a roof raising stadium power behind it. It’s all quite odd as a way of saying hi and definitely more effective than a handshake, mind you if this lot do that it would be with an electric shock current packing a fair bit of voltage behind it. After this solid mosher you can press the eject and give me the tape or ‘Fast Forward Rewind.’ This is another catchy and repetitive chanter but one that does solidify the vocals and make you realise that John Lydon and lead crooner (and drummer) Side share a similar nasal warble. In fact when the beat builds you could well replace the song title with the words “Burn Hollywood Burn.” It stomps about neatly in an unruly sense and has an underlying psychedelic vibe about it, things here are certainly curious; said the caterpillar. Music and image wise the good news is this is more in the sphere of oddballs such as Poisoned Electrick Head than it is Slipknot and as the beat of ‘Unleash The Misery’ comes in there’s the madness of everything from early Marilyn Manson to The Butthole Surfers and you are definitely going to wonder what they have been putting in the water in Preston as the warped groove of the song does all sorts of strange things to your head. At first I wasn’t too certain about all I was hearing but the catchiness here gets you whether you are willing or not and this misery is certainly for those who never fitted in and rejected the norms in favour of the weird and out there. Lovers of some errant avant-prog are going to be in their element too here as this one culminates.
Electronic beeps and blips and a slower mesmerising weave entrances on ‘Those We Left Behind’ a jagged guitar solo comes in and things rock away subtly and have you swaying in their odd grip. It has to be said the production here is excellent and although you might not notice the impact of 4 basses particularly there are plenty of odd sounds filtering out the speakers adding to an air of surrealism to the overall music. ‘Like A God’ carries on in a slow and sinuous fashion a bit Bauhausian a touch of Gothicism about it but not easy to pigeonhole by any means. The psychedelic sprawl spreads and the guitars almost surf over the top with those odd chants repeating the title of the track and worming their way into the head. ‘Tell Me’ injects some thrashy groove into it before going Vaudeville and projecting the carnival feel that has always been threatening to put in an appearance. It’s up there with the 1st number as one of the album’s biggest earworms with its powerful chorus battering you about the chops. I can imagine this one causing a mess of bodies played live. Whether a little girl’s voice and song called ‘Pull God From The Sky’ is meant to be creepy or not is uncertain but it is and the eerie slow number even includes a bit of cello. Like the final title track on the album (which frankly stretches things too far) this one illustrates that Evil Blizzard are quite happy to indulge themselves and let their songs morph and sprawl taking on different elements as they straddle genre. They are not an in your face band by any means but do occasionally allow that element to bluster through but ultimately their strength is in reeling you into their world and playing with all the senses at their disposal. This has left me a bit confused and I think personally I need to listen to their first couple of albums and definitely see the band live to get a more complete picture. So although I wouldn’t call myself a Blizzhead quite yet, I’m definitely on the way there.
(7/10 Pete Woods)