In late 2004, Josh Strawn, James Minor, Glenn Maryansky, and Ryan Rayhill, aka the future members of Blacklist, were disenthralled. Living in the supposed capital of bohemian pleasure, these New Yorkers watched in disgust as independent music became an orgy of similarity, lawmakers banned smoking in bars, and the Republican National Convention came triumphantly to midtown. Fashion set the rules for the art world and philosophy had become little more than a cynical slacker’s hobby. It was in this atmosphere that Blacklist was born.
Inspired by groups such as The Comsat Angels, Manic Street Preachers, Suede, The Sound, and For Against, Blacklist is simultaneously celebratory and melancholic, replacing the hysterical protest song of the 20th century with anthems for a new generation weaned on amusement and starved for confrontation. In today’s world of faith-based violence, global disjuncture, and volatile identity politics, they create the soundtrack to an explosive resistance. The snide refusal of nihilism makes a loud and heavy romantic sound.