Sun-soaked, bright and jovial. Blanketman’s debut EP National Trust offers a fun and lighthearted escapist punk that makes for a refreshing respite from whatever gloom you might be experiencing right now. This newly formed quartet from Manchester have latched on to an endearing indie sound that’s so rich and consistent that twenty minutes glides on so effortlessly through this first offering. Blanketman comes in fresh and hungry, with an upbeat energy that is palpable through their lovely hooks and frenetic guitar movements.
Opener “Beach Body” is surfy, loud and full of movement. The kind of song that lights a fire on your backside and entices you to pack your gear and head for the nearest beach. “Leave The South” is another similar take but with a more personal note, one that talks about moving from your hometown and venturing off to better pastures. The song is balanced between bright and somber, something has been a trademark for the best British rock acts in the same space. Blanketman definitely fits the bill, with a cleverly nuanced approach to these contrasting emotions in their songwriting.
Take for example the centerpiece “Dogs Die In Hot Cars” which may seem like a very morbid image, but it’s all by design. Vocalist Adam Hopper talks about being trapped and uncomfortable in your own space, which is accented by the sweltering riffs that are surfy yet too sharp for comfort. “Blue Funk” is also another multi-layered song of theirs, one that talks about the feeling of apathy and tragedy that seemingly follows the narrator around: “Now I no longer feel the beauty in the songs I love / To me they all sound the same”. The rhythms are still snappy, the melodies exciting, but there’s a little bit of void in their step that makes the melancholy blanket all the other elements.
Overall, National Trust is a brilliant EP from an exciting new British act. Blanketman enjoys genre fluidity from a wealth of influences, cherry picking the great things about surf, post-punk and indie pop and melding them together into their own wonderful concoction.