Saturday, 19 May 2018

Album: Tim Muddiman & The Strange - Domino Blitz

Tim Muddiman - Domino Blitz

Info: Last week Tim Muddiman independently releases his second album 'Domino Blitz' via his own label, Gun Street Music. Tim is well known as long-term band member of chart topping electronic music pioneer and legend Gary Numan.

Independently minded and musically directional 'Domino Blitz' goes to places that most people could hardly dare dream in a world gone crazy and controlled by the 1%. It speaks of a less corporate existence and concentrates on the things that make humans flow into places that are full of wonder and navigates a journey of strong mixed emotions throughout the entire album.

There's a notable difference between Tim Muddiman's 2016 album Paradise Runs Deeper with his band The Strange, and latest solo LP Domino Blitz. The former was slightly darker and more industrial, whereas his latest offering seems to see him consciously spread his wings and dabble in a wider variety of rock influences from across a number of decades. 

Opener 'Broken Down Superstar' has an undercurrent of mid to late 70's glam rock, an unusual mixture of the theatricity of Alice Cooper and the brooding mood of Marc Bolan. 'Thrill' has an off the beaten track blues club mood, you picture Muddiman on a spotlighted stage with wisps of smoke hanging in the air, crooning into a vintage Shure microphone to a darkened room filled with invisible characters. 

Tim Muddiman - Get It On

The first single from the new album, 'Get It On' is by far the darkest and heaviest, in an interview with Muddiman in January he described the track as a backlash, and it certainly feels like that. It's vivid, and this is expressed very well in the music video, an homage and call to arms to the downtrodden and those cast out by society. His affinity for the blues shines through on the album's title-track, full-bodied riffs warp and bend around a restrained but anguished vocal, in some ways it is a real Cirque du Soleil moment, the tone is macabre, desolate and unsettling and another example of how visual Tim Muddiman's music can be.

'From the Hills' is classic Muddiman, a country-blues whiskey bar vibe abounds, you imagine your protagonist wandering through a dusty Western town, Salem witch trials era. An early blossoming unrequited love that shifts from optimism to despair. Just by its title, I knew 'Rat Ballads' was going to be another door which opens into the disconsolate underground world that features regularly throughout Domino Blitz. Muddiman's song-writing excels on moments like this, the manner in which he turns his worldly observations inside-out and digs deep into an introverted transformation to the dramatic and bleak. The outside world seen through our eyes isn't real, it's a distorted mirror, and inside his imagination is where we find the real reflection.

Following the bristling and border-line honky-tonk of 'White Dove', we arrive at 'Burn the Witches', again so much of this album is thematically built on a foreign and ancestral landscape, it's probably the most overt encapsulation of the derided minority which inspired the songs on this album, chased and harried to an unforgiving extinction. We close with the aptly titled 'Out of this World', because we have been from the LP's very beginning. Without labouring on the point and giving the impression that it reflects how you feel when listening to Domino Blitz, Muddiman is masterful at conjuring up the barren wastelands that traverse from times long gone, and into a sort of post-apocalyptic future. Broad as that may sound, this story is absolutely focused on the individual character in each scene, their fears, personal struggles and victimisation. Domino Blitz is a fine mixture between the twisted graphic novel, and a clandestine forbidden cinematic experience, it's as real as it is fantasy, and that is it's most powerful attribute.

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