After 12 years of audio silence, experimental rock duo Idiot Pilot have returned with their third full-length record - Blue Blood. Bringing their notorious mix of synth-electronica laced with crushing guitar riffs.
Members Michael Harris and Daniel Anderson called an ‘indefinite hiatus’ at the start of 2011. Caused by the bands tour exhaustion and desire to pursue other projects - the hands of father time have moved and the band are ready to release new music for their long awaiting fans.
Blue Blood brings together the strongest elements of the first two albums: Strange We Should Meet Here and Wolves. All while entangling a sense of maturity and development of what the two-piece can achieve musically. The hiatus brought about time for change, with Anderson taking the break to focus on Glowbug, his synth-pop project. It's an influence that you can tell has seeped into the folds of Blue Blood, which adds an new level to the Idiot Pilot’s audio anatomy.
This reigns true on a handful of tracks that take a definite synth influence. ‘Asylum’ - a track with an ambiently distant synth intro, accelerates into an overwhelming drum fill and the track takes off. While ‘Widespread Devastation’ seems as if it was lifted straight out of an indie-pop band’s discography. Its upbeat, hypnotic synth groove provides the main anchor, to which holds together Harris’ Maccabees esque vocals floating above.
Reportedly entering the studio without any real sense of direction, you can feel this flow throughout Blue Blood with certain tracks feeling as though they are thrown into the mix. Yet this is meant in the most complimentary way possible as it lends itself to the whole concept of releasing an album with such a break between, as Idiot Pilot have had.
This is evident with the placement of track four ‘Only So Much’. An acoustic track that could have been produced in Nashville with the tantalising twang of bent guitar strings and slide guitar. The track sits between track three ‘Mammoth’ which lives up to its name - a hard hitting guitar driven track; and track five ‘Sideways’ which provides a build of guitar chugging and simple yet elegant drum beat. ‘Only So Much’ provides a break between two heavy rock tracks, but at the same time almost feels as though it shouldn’t be there.
For a band to have a 12 year hiatus, you'd expect it to be both exciting and concerning when the new album rears its head. But in the case of Idiot Pilot they have provided fans with an effort that manages to merge together the elements of the band that you already loved - and an interesting peek into where the duo are looking to go - either way, it's an exciting time to be a fan of Idiot Pilot. Score: 7/10
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