The Blinders – Fantasies of a Stay at Home Psychopath
Fantasies of a Stay at Home Psychopath, The Blinders’ follow-up to 2018’s Columbia, is full of youthful angst and saturated with political ennui and hopelessness, bleak enough to make you want to roll over and let the horrors of the world boil over. However, amongst its slightly tired idioms and repetitive dread, Fantasies is a neatly distilled critique of society today with almost enough punk ferocity to inspire doing something about it.
With clear influences from the likes of Arctic Monkeys and, more recently, IDLES, lofty lyrics and thunderous choruses abound. The industrial clanging and rasped, reverb-soaked vocals of Thomas Haywood immediately set the tone of ominous discontent on the opening Something Wicked This Way Comes. 40 Days and 40 Nights more clearly crystallises the explosive energy of the trio as Matt Neale’s pounding drums bring the track to a heady, violent climax.
The palpable chaos of Lunatic (With a Loaded Gun) flits between a spoken word diatribe and Haywood’s hoarse vocals, doling out hefty amounts of derision for all the indifferent leaders of the world. While this political dissatisfaction ties the record together conceptually, it is by no means a concept album – the two-minute interlude is an uncomfortable stall in an otherwise coherent album, drawing unnecessary attention to who this titular “psychopath” is.
Black Glass, meanwhile, is rife with doomer imagery, a more melodic, stripped-back track that gestures to the subtlety of The Blinders’ songwriting, giving their ponderous pronouncements more time for reflection. Switching up a gear half way through, it quickly builds into an anthemic roar.
While a strong record, there is an inescapable feeling that this is something to be experienced live – a malcontent, however fervent, is not much without an audience. With no hope or humour in the horror, no apocalyptic eccentricity, Fantasies of a Stay at Home Psychopath, frustratingly, remains firmly grounded in the real world.
Photo: Sam Crowston
Fantasies of a Stay at Home Psychopath is released on 17th July 2020. For further information or to order the album visit The Blinders’s website here.
Watch the video for Black Glass here: