(Executive Music Group)

MARK: 93/100

Third album from the Long Island act which is close to celebrating its tenth anniversary; "Secrets" came out at the end of last year and sees the band teaming with producer, engineer and songwriter for the making of these new 11 tracks. Ron is a young musician with a stellar career crowded with big names inside the Rock and Punk scene (Good Charlotte, Panic! At The Disco, VersaEmerge, Foxy Shazam, Get Scared, Attaloss, Saosin, Hedley, The Veronicas, Allstar Weekend, After Midnight Project, I The Mighty, New Years Day); actually I guess the production is professional, polished, embellished by modern cool samples, yet just not always explosive enough, in that I would have preferred the kick drums to be fatter and edgier, but that's just my opinion.
The lyrics range from personal feelings and uncomfortable everyday situations to surgery, while as for the music it touches different sides of Rock, Punk, Indie and Pop, with the three permanent members giving a balanced naked performance, while the bass duties are equally shared by Ron and Craig Broombaugh.
The refrains are memorable but thankfully not cheekily catchy (let's mention the one in "The Enemy You Need" first), while the songwriting is pleasantly high-quality and easy but doesn't concede surprises; the vocals are mostly female, with a few additional male back up vocals (sometimes powerful, sometimes whispered) from the guitarist and guest vocals from Paul McCoy from 12 Stones on "Destroy Your Masquerade", who is great friends with the guys in Blameshift.
Sometimes Jenny delivers energetic vocals, on less occasions she's softer ("Wherever It Goes") or hypnotizing (at the beginning of "Not Enough" and "Operating Table"), but it's always her together with the faithful rifferama and guitar lick creator Tim Barbour who turn the core of every song from decent to amazing: the already cited "Wherever It Goes" is a tricky Pop/Rock ballad where the risk of failing with a weak and boring closer was elevated and some bands would have surrendered without having recorded it; on the contrary, in the case of the USA Punk/Rock heroes, no words can be more suitable than 'Mission accomplished'!
In the end the title track, the crushing riffs-driven "Let Go" and "C'Est La Vie" are worth the digipack alone, yet at the same time it is honest to inform you that there are margins to make the future compositions a tad more versatile. I might sound like a pedantic old fart , still the New Yorkers leave me with the impression that their huge talent has not bloomed completely. In the meantime, the video matching the single/title track is bound to make them world-renowned in a short while and cause everybody to forget this small negative critic of mine. An honest, involving nailer of a band, Blameshift bring the lesson of bands such as Paramore and Garbage to orgasmic levels, exactly where their older colleagues lost their originary inspiration and impact.

MARKUS GANZHERRLICH - January 10th, 2014

Line-up on this record:
Jenny Mann - v.
Tim Barbour - g., backing v.
Nathan Saake - d.
Craig Broombaugh + Erik Ron - b.

Great Neck, NY - USA


Official sites:


-Drop down (CD - 2006)
-The Test (CD - 2007)
-Blameshift (EP - 2010)
-The Black Rose (EP - 2011)
-Secrets (CD - 2013)