Blue Tapes have done it again. The label received a lot of deserved attention for Katie Gately's 'Pipes' single last year, a track that provided one of the major highlights of the 2013 festive fifty when it unexpectedly snuck in at number 19. Even had they left it there, they would already warrant recognition as one of the finest conduits innovative music of our time, but they clearly don't intend to. For that we can be extremely grateful, especially as this EyeSea release isn't far behind the Gately one in terms of quality and easily on a par in terms of musical audacity.
It's another vocal-only affair, this time appropriating the unlikely tag of 'a capella death metal' to give the world what will surely prove to be one of the most original things - musical or otherwise - you'll encounter anywhere in 2014. Even more than anything else that Blue Tapes have put out, Blue Ten shreds your expectations as much as your senses: hearing the rabid growl of a death metal vocalist without instrumental accompaniment raises the hairs on your back and plays merry hell with your sensibilities with scant regard for how open-minded a listener you might like to think you are.
There are ten such gems on this release, each one stylistically similar and yet bewilderingly different. It's from the same series of vocal studies as the Gately release, but there any similarities end. The power of the aforementioned artist's 'Pipes' was in how it somehow martialled the most sparse and rudimentary elements to produce something that was, for the most part, oddly melodic. There's nothing melodic here, only a pugilistic vocal line that pounds your senses into willing submission while your head jars to the guitar line you know ought to be there but which, shockingly, isn't.
I'm playing 'Stuck 2' from the release in my March Dandelion Radio show. You can grab a copy - as usual, it's a cassette only affair, from here. If you're missing something in your life at the moment, it's probably this: and even if it isn't, it'll certainly take your mind off whatever it is.