EP REVIEW: Blanketman’s ‘National Trust’ – A Northern state of mind

Blanketman : National Trust

MANCHESTER indie-pop and post-punk outfit Blanketman have come a long way since their early years. A band that has created a hard-earned and well-deserved name for themselves after performing extensively in their hometown, it’s no surprise that their debut EP, the brilliantly titled National Trust, is very much about their own story and identity.

Arguably a millennial story of the eternal question of ‘who am I’, and do we ascertain our background to our life circumstances, National Trust explores the need for unison and the decision to look at oneself. Humorous, introspective and quirky, it’s an energetic and restless seven-track EP exploring escapism, national identity, and the all too familiar existential angst.

A band that very much needs to be seen live, Blanketman’s sound derives from a mixture of post-punk, Clash-inspired energy ( indeed they’ve received support from them) and the early days of Blur. Although their debut EP on the surface seems to resonate with a familiar indie-rock and punk sound of the 90s, what makes the sound unique is the clear musicianship and chemistry between members. The songs, especially “Leave the South’, and “National Trust”, are very impressive in honing the band’s strong cameraderie.

The band, Adam Hopper (lead vocals, guitar), Jeremy Torralvo Godoy (bass, backing vocals), Ellie-Rose Elliott (drums, backing vocals) and Daniel Hand (lead guitar) each bring their own unique sound of an almost industrial roughness, that suddenly softens with tracks like “Harold” and “Blue Funk”. The vocal harmonies are impressive as they are unexpected in what the opening track, “Beach Body”. I’m not sure they would welcome the likeness, but the chord progressions are very much have a Beatles-meets-Blur vibe – a sound which is as unique and refreshingly out of the blue as it sounds.

I’ve heard new punk and indie bands before, but very few with the lyrical and musical depth that Blanketman have to offer. They’ve got a way to describe the divide of the North vs South in the UK that feels universal. Perhaps this is their intention – that we are all somewhat divided behind the guise of national identity when really it’s our own we need to address. The need to remain young whilst fighting against adulthood is prevalent here as well with tracks like “The Tie” (very much a nod to Artic Monkeys).

National Trust is certainly full of catchy, meaningful cries of the milennial angst told from a very candid, honest and empowered North. I can’t resist quoting band leader Adam Hopper: “The water really does taste better up North”.

Blanketman’s debut EP National Trust comes out on March 19th via PIAS Records. Check them out here.

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