Suede – BloodsportsCultureMusicAlbum reviews
Once upon a time Suede formed the template for all androgynous, hypersexual, and decadent indie rock bands that emanated from the 90s and beyond. The release of Suede and Dog Man Star saw the group harness a credible cult status amongst musos and scenesters. Their relevance and legacy will always hold weight in British history, as pioneers who shook things up when the indie-rock industry became stale – reluctantly evolving into the inaugurators of Britpop.
The historically controversial band have returned to release their sixth album Bloodsports, after the disappointment of the last record, A New Morning, released 11 years ago. Positively, this new collection of material sees the group emulating their most commercially successful album Coming Up, and is often as dark and brutal as its title suggests.
Barriers is a fantastic album opener which gallops towards you, full of unabashed spirit and intent. Brett Anderson’s distinctive wail is immediately recognisable and purposeful, full of desperation and sounding more potent than ever before – a surprise after the extensive crack and heroin abuse of the past. Guitarist Richard Oakes is particularly impressive here, with a controlled prominence that should be admired.
Snowblind and It Starts and Ends With You convey a youthful vigour of a band that have matured but are still young in heart and mind. Sabotage and Hit Me have the swooping stadium sing-a-long chorus moments that should excite fans. Sometimes I Feel I’ll Float Away is a magnificent song, which swells to gigantic proportions on repeat listens. The second half of the album is cold and introspective, with the foreboding atmosphere of What Are You Not Telling Me, Always and Faultlines.
Bloodsports is very much a welcome return that belongs in the Suede discography because it is true to the original make-up of the band – sounding like an LP that they should have recorded at the height of their success. The album flows seamlessly from start to finish and never feels jaded. The songs are so well crafted and full of ideas that this doesn’t feel like an old band making an ego-fuelled comeback. Instead this feels like a purposeful statement, full of substance and pertinence.
Bloodsports is currently available for purchase and download. For further information on Suede and future events, click here.
Watch the video for It Starts and Ends With You here: