A fun but sometimes repetitive listen
Dale Maplethorpe
16:57 17th March 2021

More about:

Post-punk indie-pop outfit Blanketman take a solid step in the right direction with their debut EP, National Trust. Following the release of their first few singles the band received praise from the likes of Annie Mac, Huw Stephens and Matt Wilkinson as well as selling out shows pre-lockdown. Where we can see the appeal of Blanketman when it comes to singles, their style can be repetitive when laid out on a 7-track EP, meaning National Trust, though certainly not bad, falls slightly short of the mark.  

Upbeat and hook-heavy, the EP is fun to listen to. The majority of the music is made up of tinny, descending high pitched guitar riffs, contrasted with ascending bass runs and up-tempo drums. That sound, paired with lead singer Adam Hopper’s low and narrative vocal tone works extremely well. 

Though the sound that Blanketman go for is a good one, it’s also one that they refuse to divert from on the entire EP. There is little variation not only in the music being played but the way they play it. There are hardly any different effects, no varying tempos and the structure of every song follows such a strict pattern that by the end of the EP they become predictable.

There are also some time management issues with this EP, as there are instances where parts of songs are extremely short when realistically they could do with being longer and vice versa. The way the tracks are written (short verse, short chorus, repeat) mean they can only happen for about 2 minutes at a time before becoming stale. This is something Blanketman seem to be aware of on the first two songs, ‘Beach Body’ and ‘Leave The South’, but divert from on ‘Harold’ as they drag the same 30 seconds of music on for over 3 minutes. Admittedly, the outro to ‘Harold’ is enjoyable, though it takes far too long to get there. 

In the same vein, in the introduction to ‘Blue Funk’, we’re teased something different from the usual formula with a creepy intro made up of sporadic plucking on a backdrop of feedback, before Blanketman dive straight back into their already-established and familiar sound 5 seconds later. 

Overall, the EP is certainly enjoyable: what Blanketman have with National Trust is a good start. It is an upbeat, fun listen that will work brilliantly in a live environment. The only place where the EP is let down is in its repetition, as Blanketman seem to find a formula that’s worked for them in the past and stick to it religiously. Whilst enjoyable as singles, if Blanketman want to produce some full-length projects, they’ll need to begin to introduce some variation into their sound. With National Trust, Blanketman take a solid step in the right direction; however, they don’t travel any further than that.  

National Trust arrives 19 March via PIAS.

More about:

Photo: Press