All it takes is 3 chords and a dream!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Blisterz - Rebels Without Applause

The Blisterz - Rebels Without Applause
2011, Chickenstock Records

Albany, NY power-punk trio The Blisterz look to unleash their blend of chaos, charisma and power chords in the key of G on an unsuspecting world with their sophomore effort, Rebels Without Applause. Davey Blister (vocals/guitar); Drew "Blood" Blister (bass) and Vinny Blister (drums) smash and bash their way through fourteen dynamic punk-rockers on the follow-up to their 2007 debut, Who's Laughing Now? With a penchant for three chord anthems and moderate socio-political commentary, The Blisterz follow in the sonic footsteps of bands such as The Ramones and the New York Dolls.

Rebels Without Applause shows flashes of this musical charisma, but also spends a fair amount of time muddling around without a message. "BOTB (We Should Have Listened To Our Friend Gus)" borrows a bit from The Ramones but is a solid start. "Friday Night Girls" is a classic band complaint about young bar-goes who only want to hear songs currently on top-40 radio. It's a catchy number full of brash humor. "Your Girlfriend Wants Me" opens with a chord progression that could have been lifted from "Baba O'Riley" (The Who). The song is a fun bit of trash-talking bravado. The Blisterz get in a catchy kiss-off song with real pop sensibility in the form of "Hear U Cry"; this could be a breakout hit for the band, particularly if it were picked for a movie or television soundtrack.

Kvetching is the word of the day on "Yellow Flag", a WTF song about the state of the world that is likely to reverberate with anyone confused about the direction of the world. Likewise, "The DJ Let Us Down Again" could be a socio-political commentary, or might just be what it sounds like. Either way, it's an enjoyable listen that shows a bit more depth from The Blisterz than you might expect at first glance. "Wrecking Ball" is a catchy-mid tempo number that's a lot of fun and well-played. The Blisterz explore the ultimate workplace diversion on "Paper Jam", putting copy rooms to their proper (alternative) use. Rebels Without Applause closes with "Over And Out", a somewhat weak ending for a generally solid to above average effort.

The Blisterz have the same energy and ability to surprise that could be found in early Green Day recordings, although without the apparent, pervasive drug cloud. In spite of the uncut approach to music, The Blisterz show a surprising pop sensibility and complexity on Rebels Without Applause. It's easy to imagine The Blisterz growing up beyond their three-chord punk anthems into a band of real substance over time. For now, they're a fun diversion with great things afoot.

Rating: 3 Stars (Out of 5)

Learn more about The Blisterz at or  Rebels Without Applause is available from as a CD or Download.  The album is also available via iTunes.

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