Monday, October 24, 2005
Blackout Gorgeous gathers a diverse group of musical personalities from the Lawrence/KC area. Producer Nezbeat is known for his work with local lyricists including Id (with whom he forms Archetype), while bassist Chris Handley regularly gigs with a variety of jam/fusion acts (DOJO, Tanner Walle). The rest of the group includes vocalist Tim Wurtz, guitarist Ryan Wurtz, vocalist/keyboardist Erin Keller and drummer Nick Urbom.
The vibe on "Tragic Logic" is one of stark seriousness, and it requires a substantial emotional investment to listen to the entire album. The band cites cerebrally tinged influences such as Blonde Redhead, Portishead, Radiohead and Head Automatica - a tip-off that traditional pop sensibilities aren't at work here.
Keller's ethereal vocals prove to be the band's calling card, wafting around Wurtz's effect-soaked guitar riffs and the album's pairing of drum programming with live drums. The album's strength is its willingness to let each member explore their various muses - jazz, hip-hop, rock or otherwise (a couple tracks even veer towards Brazilian Tropicalia).
In a landscape cluttered by wannabe emo bands, Blackout Gorgeous is developing a singular sound that only seeks to be true to itself. That alone justifies a listen, even if it requires a little patience.