Home Read Albums Of The Week: The Blinders | Beholder

Albums Of The Week: The Blinders | Beholder

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “The notion of perspective has been at the forefront of The Blinders’ minds of late. Those vanishing points of the heart and soul add depth and texture to aptly titled third album. Beholder follows their politically charged debut, 2018’s Columbia, and 2020’s seductively sinister Fantasies Of A Stay at Home Psychopath.

“I’d think about what I was seeing in my head listening to the songs,” explains singer/guitarist Thomas Haywood. “And it was always a character, and I’d describe them as the beholder. That sense of seeing is believing and understanding through what it is you’ve seen. I think the record is about leaving adolescence and becoming an adult, so your experience and your perspective change.”

Beholder is a record born out of a period of flux within the band; their previous drummer left the group in 2020. Thomas ‘Cass’ Castrey, who used to be the band’s tech on the road, took over the drum stool full time, while keyboard player Johnny James was also recruited. Wisely, Haywood and Doncaster school friend and fellow Blinders’ founder, bassist Charlie McGough, realised the interruption in their band’s life opened more possibilities than the doors it closed.

As the reconstituted lineup solidified — the group were also aided on this album by former Cabbage and Twisted Wheel guitarist Eoghan CliffordThe Blinders engaged in an intense period of demoing as many song ideas as they could fully realise, as they began to forge and understand the new musical relationships that were blossoming within the group. With over 20 songs written at their Manchester base at Brunswick Mill — and with Nick Launay and ‘Atom’ Greenspan in place to produce the album in Los Angeles — The Blinders decamped to a stripped-out cottage in rural Wales to drill down and create a final, focused demo that they could take to America as a blueprint of Beholder.

While the album shares a frenetic energy with their previous albums, there’s a new depth both lyrically and musically. Launay and Greenspan’s astute rock production adds wider atmospheres and sophisticated textures and lyrically the band effortlessly marry angry social observations with a personal desperation which sees Beholder sweep rollercoaster-like through minimal then maximalist twists and turns.”