Til Death Do Us Part by Blacklist Union (BLU Records)
One of the most scandalously underrated bands on the Los Angeles music scene today, Blacklist Union continues to unleash the down and dirty rock and roll Hollywood is so infamous for. Fronted by the dangerously charismatic Tony West, Blacklist Union’s tunes are packed with mood and attitude, channeling such greats as Janes Addiction and Guns N Roses, yet bold enough to chart these own thrilling musical path. Til Death Do Us Part is their third thunderous effort, a dark, gripping ride of pure sonic intensity that should literally grab the listener by the throat.
The disc opens with the haunting strains of title cut Til Death Do Us Part, a stunner of a track showing West and Company at the very height of their creative prowess. This song demands radio airplay! Then it’s out of the darkness and into the fire with the rambunctious rocking sounds of Alabama Slammer, a tune that will sizzle a hole right through your speakers.
Blown Away is dark and ominous, an atmospheric work with vocalist Tony West at his most impassioned. Game Over is smoky and gritty with its “a dirty pearl won’t fix my kind” lyrical content. Same Ol’ Pressure has a bluesy vibe that is sure to enrapture the senses.
Diggin 4 Gold is another highlight filled with swagger and conviction, with the affable Tony West snarling, “Controversy follows me everywhere” before bursting into a wildly infectious chorus that will have you singing along with fiendish delight. Feed The Snakes is a deadly rock opus dedicated to “the gossips and flakes, the 2 faced and the haters.”
I Do shows just how effective West and Company is when conveying a psychotic yet passionate power ballad. Blacklist Union then unleashes a stunning cover of Don’t Change by Inxs, literally breathing life and glory into the already classic song.
The Lick Kitty Split Theme Song is filled with tasty sweet guitar riffage and a ferocious vocal by Tony West. And then closing out Til Death Do Us Part on a devastating note is the startling I Don’t Love You Anymore, featuring chilling vocals and icy soundscapes that will remain in your head long after the disc spins to its conclusion.
In addition to the mesmerizing vocals of Tony West, members of the famed rock collective Saliva contributed to the recording of Til Death Do Us Part (Wayne Swinny, Dave Novotny, Paul Crosby) – as well as the legendary drummer Hunt Sales, whose own distinguished credits include The Stooges and Tin Machine. Jon E. Love of the mighty Love/Hate contributes absolutely spine-tingling licks on lead guitar. Perseverance in the music industry continues to pay off artistically for Tony West and Blacklist Union. Til Death Do Us Part is an intriguing effort that compares extremely well with the past and present legendary recordings of the much-revered Hollywood music scene.
(Review by Kenneth Morton)
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