Australia’s Blind Girls play an utterly devastating screamo on their 2018 LP Residue. Their music quickly proves angular and noisy. Richly textured all of the way through, listening through Residue feels like stumbling down a heated, rocky road barefoot, focusing as much on the next step as wherever you’re going in the end.
This music delivers an immensely personal perspective and never ending waves of concurrent emotion both via the dynamic, shouted vocals and the accompanying music. The songs feel like their speaker had their innermost core cracked open, and we’re hearing the resulting bursts of energy flailing various directions. The vocal work feels less dependent on hitting particular notes and more focused on portraying particular shades of emotion — and the fact that the band accomplishes as much in a continuously harsh framework makes their work all the more impressive.
Musically, the band maintains a noisy perspective throughout the entirety of their work, allowing the listener to get lost in the music, in a sense, and thereby taking that emotional core of their sound to another level. In their waves of noise, Blind Girls sound like they’ve found the freedom to let loose — and further connecting the band to their listeners, Residue somewhat easily imparts that liberation.
The “liberation” feels very real. Although the term often gets incorporated into praise of dynamic and harsh music, catharsis doesn’t dominate this musical storytelling — and in life, it’s hardly ever the main attraction during times of trauma, either. Residue delivers more of a status update, letting listeners make some sense of where they are and where the band’s at, and where each involved interest is going. The record lets listeners feel, and presumably does the same for the band — where we’re going next, via relief obtained through catharsis or anything else, will get here when it does.
The band couldn’t deliver the meaning they do if they’d presented their “message” in a different format. Their music packs enough intensity that wherever you’re at while listening, you can mentally catapult yourself into a mosh pit upon pushing play and thereby achieve whatever version of musical nirvana you might be after. Features like the screamed but ultimately accessible vocals allow listeners to manage a foothold in the midst of the tumult — and the result proves thrilling.
Listen below via Bandcamp