Monday, June 1, 2020
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Miss Ballistic: Blood And Glitter

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Artist: Miss Ballistic
Title: Blood And Glitter
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: Black Pill Red Pill
Blood And Glitter is synth-pop, bold and brassy- a classic pack of 10 songs, every song falling close to 3 minutes 45 seconds in length, every song 4/4 and pretty much all with intro-verse-chorus-verse-chorus structures, this is a pop music LP in a traditional mould, and it will have a broad pop appeal accordingly. It’s produced by Angelspit and can hardly be faulted in production terms. EDM elements, mostly around the bass- note-tweaked distorted synths, sudden bass drops, etc.- are coupled with more radio-friendly chord stabs and beats- to make something that sounds very much like 2019 pop through-and-through, in a good way.

Lyrically, it’s slightly more cynical, but in a good way as well, mostly. There’s a concept album idea of sorts, about the dark underbelly of beauty pageants turning to genuine aggression- exemplified in “Vicious Streak” as an example- but that seems less like a genuine concept-album approach and more of an excuse to write multiple songs all on the same subject. The realisation of that is not nearly as gritty, cutting-edge or dark as it’s branded as. Both melodically and thematically it’s reminiscent of what Rogue Traders or Schmoof were doing over a decade ago (most notably on the title track). When it gets more rap-like or spoken word it’s got shades of Uffie about it, but mostly without the pointed vulgarity that became its own novelty selling point- with the polite exception of “Diamond Dildo”.

There are some sharp moments, like the “you should run for president” lines in “Less Wardrobe More Malfunction” (one of the album’s dafter moments, which will appeal to fans of Hyperbubble or Freezepop) and some songs will forge connections as empowerment themes for angry women, but it lacks the really witty capabilities of bands like Spray.

Ultimately it also lacks one or two killer singalong choruses that would really make this album push itself to the top of playlists. “Red Pearls” is the standout exception, a genuinely super-catchy singalong number with more than a shade of 80’s in the chorus, but it throws into relief that some of the other songs seem flat by comparison. The understated catharsis of the “you make me scream” chorus in “Scream” is also worth a mention though.

It’s a strong bit of attitude-laden synthpop that deserves a big audience. It lacks the real toothiness and cutting edge that it’s being branded with, but underneath is a great and somewhat old-fashioned strong pop album.

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