Domino Effect has already gone to number two in the Irish charts since last week. The Mullingar band’s second album and followup to 2006’s A Public Display of Affection was kept off the top spot only by Metallica’s Death Magnetic.
By those standards, this band are the most popular band in Ireland right now. So how does the album stack up? It’s certainly an ambitious, more considered record which takes their sound into more global territory than the debut which lacked distinction at times and dipped into standard pop-rock fare. Niall Breslin’s songwriting on Domino Effect is better, the guitars more singular. It feels like more though has gone into their sound this time around.
Perhaps this can be credited to producer Michael Beinhorn who worked on the band’s debut and who also pushed Breslin to write more honest songs but there’s no doubt the band have certainly reached a plateau with a plethora of catchy hooks on display here. They set our their stall within the first minute of ‘Buy It Sell It’ with the harmonising vocals and syncopated guitar lines. First single ‘Trust Me I’m A Doctor’ with its “La la la la” backing vocals and frantic vocal pace is even more infuriatingly catchy and State has had it lodged in our brains for the last three weeks after just one airing.
Much of the rest of the album is littered with these kind of sticky hooks: take the story of a snobby girl on ‘Money Can’t Buy You Class’, the Supergrass-esque ‘Three Cheers for Modern Medicine’, the accomplished electronic-leaning ‘Domino Effect’ (complete with robotic vocoder voice!) and the brass-laden ‘Bad Thought’. It’s a short, sharp 30 minutes before we arrive at the closing slow-burning ‘Time to Decide’ which is the closest the band get to Snow Patrol territory.
It’s clear that The Blizzards don’t consider themselves part of any clique judging by the lyrics of the title track – “You wear your skinny jeans and genuflect to scenes that don’t really mean a thing“. It’s also clear that The Blizzards are eager to write good pop songs and judging by Domino Effect and their chart placing, they’ve succeeded 100%.
The Blizzards – ‘Trust Me I’m A Doctor’