The debut album from BLOXX arrives freighted with expectations. Since 2016, the London-based quartet – lead vocalist Fee Booth, bassist Paul Raubišķis, guitarist Taz Sidhu and drummer Mozwin Norohna – have constructed a solid reputation via touring extensively with the likes of indie giants Two Door Cinema Club and The Wombats, hitting up major festival stages and rapidly churning out one hook-studded banger after another.
But BLOXX are not the type to bow to pressure. Across 12 straightforward yet enormously fun tracks, BLOXX divulge their greatest asset: their innate ability to craft a mammoth chorus. With a beaming melody and soaring vocal lead from Booth, the title track magnifies all the energy of the mosh pit, much like ‘Coming Up Short’, a huge, echoing singalong that was also made with a future festival crowd in mind. Perhaps, one day, we’ll hear it there.
The stellar ‘Off My Mind’ boasts the biggest hook of them all, and Booth delivers the swaggering refrain with enviable confidence. “I can get you off/But never get you off my mind”, she repeats over giant, fuzzy riffs. ‘Go Out With You’ is all foot-stomping basslines and electronic flourishes as it indulges in their shared penchant for shimmering 80s’ pop, while the riff-happy ‘5000 Miles’ illustrates the many woes of a long-distance relationship atop a killer groove.
BLOXX are also not afraid to wear their primary influences on their collective sleeve. The glistening, pastel-hued ‘Give Me My Keys’ wouldn’t sound out of place on Paramore’s new wave-indebted album ‘After Laughter’, and ‘Changes’ feels instantly familiar, a slicked-back take on the gloomy pop-rock stylings of The 1975’s ‘Settle Down’ that is delivered with enough confidence to avoid pastiche.
As the album unwinds, it becomes difficult to find fault with ‘Lie Out Loud’ – it does what it does so well. If ‘What You Needed’, a particularly uninspiring, finger-plucked acoustic number, stands out to be the only true low point of this compelling offering, then BLOXX are onto a surefire winner.
- Release date: August 28
- Record label: Chess Club