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My Forte Is Time Travel (CD, EP) - 2006
Gold (CD, EP)   Ondryland 2007
See You In Another City (CD, EP)   Big Scary Monsters, 2008
Champions (LP) Hassle, 2009
If the Good Lord Had Intended Us to Walk, He Wouldn't Have Invented Roller Skates/Charmer (7” Single)
Tracks Appear On: All Areas Volume 107 (CD, Comp) If The Good Lord Had I... Visions Magazine 2009
 Kerrang! The Album '09 (2xCD, Album, Comp) Economics Rhino Records (2) 2009
Rock Sound Magazine: “Sound Check” Issue 125 (CD Comp)- August 09



Written by the charming Mischa Pearlman on the 25th of February 2009:

Ask the four members of Blakfish how they got together and they’ll tell you that they met in juvenile detention center. Enquire as to how they got there and they’ll present you with a plethora of outrageous crimes. Ask them what the point of their music is and they’ll reply that there isn’t one. You see, they don’t really want you to ask questions about what they’re doing, they just want you to enjoy it. That’s why they made the album, so that’s why you should listen to it. Simple really.

Hailing from Birmingham, Blakfish – Thomas Rock, Richard Hollywood, Robert Fruit and Sammy Vile if you want their whimsical rock’n’roll names– have been moulding and shaping their sound for a good few years now, building things up slowly and surely and always having fun in the process. In 2008, they released their debut EP, See You In Another City, to widespread critical acclaim from underground and mainstream press alike, and played almost 200 shows . If you’ve been to any of their gigs, you’ll wonder how they can muster the energy and strength to play like that more than just once, let alone for more than half the year. But that’s what they did, impressing audience after audience with their visceral songs and ferocious stage presence, living day by day, hand by mouth, putting everything they could into their songs.  

What they never anticipated doing, was recording their debut album over five weeks in Seattle at Redroom Studios. Joining a long list of cult/legendary bands to have laid down tracks there – from These Arms Are Snakes to Minus The Bear to Mastodon – Blakfish took their songs to producer Chris Common. Together, they worked closely to record, very organically and with no overdubs, autotune or drum samples, what they would later call ‘Champions. That was something that was never on the agenda for them.
“We don’t set out goals for the band,” says Tom. “Someone will say, ‘This has happened’ and we’ll be like, ‘Oh. That could have been a goal if we’d thought about it.’ But it’s easier that way.”
“We don’t really try that hard at all,” adds Rich. “I mean, we try hard to be good, but we don’t go over the top to try hard. But at the same time, we’re not that amazed when things happen. It’s probably the Birmingham mentality – things just happen to you.”
“And I’m always worried about what’s going to go wrong,” laughs Sam. “Like, ‘Are you sure it’s happened?!’”

One listen to ‘Champions’ and you know it’s happened! They came up with that title late one night in the studio. There’s no back story, no deeper meaning, no real reason why it’s called that, but it fits with their carefree, live-for-moment outlook.
“We started shouting ‘Winners! Champions! Winners and Champions!’ one night,” explains Tom, “and it just suited us in an arrogant kind of way. “We wanted to call it ‘Fuck You’, but you can’t really call it that.” It’s being released by Hassle Records, who have already put out records by the likes of Rolo Tomassi, Thursday and Alexisonfire. Blakfish are the latest string to that already impressive bow and this album slots in neatly next to the sharp and deadly hardcore arrows of their labelmates. Skim over the songtitles - ‘Ringo Starr – 2nd Best Drummer In The Beatles’, ‘Your Hair’s Straight But Your Boyfriend Ain’t’ are just two of the gems – and it’s clear that Blakfish aren’t taking anything too seriously. Yet the vicious songs that this album spits out, the larynx-ripping screams, the complex and intelligent song structures, make it just as clear that Blakfish are a band to be taken very seriously indeed.

And ‘Champions’ is, frankly, a brutal record. It straddles genres and feelings, choking you and caressing you at the same time. The influences of Seattle and numerous American hardcore bands are there, but it’s just as much a product of - and reaction to - their hometown of Birmingham, and the socio-political dilemma this country has been in for a very long time now. But it’s not necessarily about the politics. It can be if you want it to be, but really, the state of the world is just one of many disparate things that influenced this record.  First and foremost is that you just press play and enjoy it. The band may have named it ‘Champions’ for a laugh, but, actually, they’re not far from the truth at all. Because, whether they intended it or not, Blakfish are contenders for the crown of a new kind of hardcore, one that deviates from tried and tested tracks and which keeps its tongue firmly in its cheek before biting hard and chewing, swallowing it down and then throwing it back up again.