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The Blow: Self-Titled LP

The Blow, The Blow album review, The Blow review, The Blow Self-Titled album, Kanine Records, Khaela Maricich, Melissa DyneThe Blow – The Blow

Release date(s): Oct. 1
Our Rating: 2.5/5
Spec Recs:“I Tell Myself Everything,” “Invisible”
In one word: Deviation

I first came to know, and love, The Blow following the release of Poor Aim: Love Songs in 2004. The EP was the first release with The Blow as a two-piece, inlcuding leading lady Khaela Maricich and Jona Bechtolt. At the time, I relished in the electro-pop beats that Bechtolt provided, light and airy vocals of Maricich and the duo’s quirky lyrics. I was a 16-year-old girl connecting with an indie pop band — seems about right.

When Paper Television came out in 2006: “Pile of Gold” was what I wanted to model my own musical projects after; “Parentheses” was the fun pop that always got play time during long drives, getting ready and cleaning sprees; and “True Affection” was simple but effectively softened the blows of, well, feelings. You get where I’m going with this.

K Records re-released Poor Aim in 2007 and then, The Blow seemingly dropped off. Bechtolt went on to pursue other ventures (namely YACHT) and Maricich fell off my music radar entirely. So, naturally, I was excited to hear that The Blow was back with a new album and tour dates, including a booked gig at Rhythm Room on Oct. 30. The self-titled album was released on Oct. 1 via Kanine Records. It is the first record featuring Maricich’s new bandmate (and girlfriend) Melissa Dyne.

Is it fair to compare The Blow to past releases? After all, it’s been nearly seven years since Paper Television. There’s also a new member, although the project still remains the brainchild of Maricich. The music is still largely carried by the frontwoman’s vocals and features layers of light melodies and electronic sounds. Lyrically, the songs are reflective and mature, balanced with playful diction. They remain guided by themes of love and relationships, and in “I Tell Myself Everything,” Maricich even says, “One good heartbreak and you’ll sing for a decade.” Fans will hear The Blow from the past in these new tracks but perhaps gain more clarity of Maricich’s musical intent, her artistic message.

Still, it feels like something is missing. Maybe the album flourishes in a live setting. The Blow members have done past discussions on performance art and Dyne started working with Maricich on show set ups in 2007, lending her knowledge in conceptual art, sound and installation.

In any case, The Blow is back and taking a decidedly different path. Purchase the new album from Kanine Records and check out all the upcoming tour dates on The Blow’s website.

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