Returning to the scene for the first time since their hiatus in 2016, alternative rockers Nightblade present their newly released 3rd LP, Ignorance is Bliss. The quartet of Midlander’s have taken a glance at the new materiel with fresh eyes and a revitalised angle, creating a ten track record tightly packed with dependable tunes.
Opening with the title track, repetitive jangly fuzz-fuelled guitars generates an unavoidable and subconscious impulse to foot tap, the album’s captivation foreshadowed early on. With Mark Crosby on vocals, Tim Cutliffe on bass, Sam Morse on guitar, and Richard Lawley on drums, ‘Steering Wheel’ offers a rougher opening riff with threatening jagged edges, the looming middle-8 embodying a formidable disquietude.
The latter half of the album however is riddled with pop melodies more accustomed to the generation dividing rock ballads of the 80s. ‘Only You’, ‘Further from the Truth’, and ‘Take Me as I Am’, each exhibit similar classic rock orientated distorted guitar lines, pop hooks, and lyrical themes of affection and self-preservation; ‘Only you could pick me up, recognise I’ve had enough,’ ‘as daunting as it seems, you’re always torn and in between,’ and ‘I could cry all night, see me in a different light.’
A gently sedating intro gratifies on ‘Never Take for Granted,’ the enrapturing ‘oo’s’ and ‘ah’s’ snowball into ‘What If,’ as a series of assorted sound effects are followed by funk laden bass lines. The star of the show is Morse’s imposing guitar work on ‘Find Strength Within,’ emerging from the wings and taking centre stage as the combination of his strained guitar notes and Crosby’s impassioned vocals creates an all-consuming vacuum. (Not the hoover kind.) Closing the album with ‘Stop’ halts the record with an up-beat and jaunty atmosphere, subsequently leaving you with a skip in your step.
Ignorance Is Bliss is out now independently.