Blamm-o!
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Blamm-o!

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The best kept secret in music

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Madison Music Project -- BLAMM-O!
Kristian Knutsen on Monday 01/22/2007 04:01:17

Today's highlighted Madison-based musical act is BLAMM-O!.

Exuberance is a state of mind for BLAMM-O!, a quintet whose music unites the bounce of pop punk with the ferocity of hard rock. Hitting stages around town through most of this decade, the group picked up their live pace in 2006, adding a member in the process. BLAMM-O! also released its first album last year, one highlighting both an active political mien and their rock swagger.

Here is how the band describes itself and its history:
Formed in 2000, BLAMM-O! has experienced a rollercoaster ride, losing and gaining members while still maintaining their presence in the local rock scene. Stripped down to a four piece consisting of original drummer John Dillett, vocalist Joel G. Hooks, Matt Ackerman on bass, and Jake Martell on guitar, BLAMM-O! recorded at Paradyme Productions in Madison, Wisconsin and released their self titled CD in the Spring of 2006.

The five-song disc contains two hidden tracks, "Indonesia" and "Fading" recorded in 2001 (unreleased), and is a sample of their set-list of all original music. The recent acquisition of Matt Acker on bass has allowed Matt Ackerman to join Jake Martell on guitar, returning BLAMM-O! to their desired five-piece format. Refusing to be boxed in, BLAMM-O!'s mix of hard rock, punk, and pop with an underlying 60's vibe is difficult to label.

Polished and professional, BLAMM-O! is firing on all cylinders and is eager to expand their bomb-blasting horizons. Explosive, exciting, and entertaining, BLAMM-O!'s live shows are always a crowd pleasing experience.

The antics of frontman Joel G. Hooks blur the lines between stage and audience. With thought provoking lyrics about life, love, and politics, BLAMM-O! delivers a performance which creates light in times of darkness, action rather than apathy and a voice not to be ignored, which cries, "Wake up. Open your eyes. The fuse is lit. The clock is ticking. BLAMM-O!"

In addition to photos of the band in action, the self-titled EP released by BLAMM-O! last year is available in its (listed) entirety at blammomusic.com. The tracks available here for listening are: "No News," "Winter's Dormancy," "Wake Up America," "Life Spills (Again)," and "Love Songs." The latter four are also available on the group's MySpace page, while lyrics from the final three are available here. The two hidden tracks, though, can only be found on the EP itself.

BLAMM-O! performances are well-known for their boisterous energy, with lead vocalist Hooks regularly departing the stage to sing and leap from a variety of perches around the venue. This has elicited both cheers and criticism, both of which speak to the visceral nature of their shows.

The first BLAMM-O! performance of the New Year is set for Thursday, Jan. 25, when they will take the stage at the Club Tavern in Middleton. More details about the show can be found here.

This is the latest featured entry from the Madison Music Project, an online database of Madison-area musicians. Please register or update your current profile on the project for consideration in these highlights.
- Isthmus - Madison's Weekly Newspaper


If punk rock is more defined by its attitude than its musical form, then BLAMM-O! has succeeded in joining SevenOneFive, Things Fall Apart and the erstwhile New Recruits as one of the defining punk bands in the Mad City. This eponymous debut also joins those ranks as one of the best releases in this genre. Of course the musical form follows as well. After all, you won’t be hearing too many punk chamber orchestras. BLAMM-O! is seven tracks of kick-ass angst, raging against the machine and heavy soul-searching that hit you square in the solar plexus. Additionally, there are two radio edits of the EP’s best tunes, “Wake Up America” and “No News,” because, well, this stuff is just too important. People need to hear it.

You’ve just got to love an album that starts off with the words, “Look at how we’ve fucked ourselves.” Though “Wake Up America” goes on a bit too long (4:58 with repeated verses) it really doesn’t matter. It’s a message that you want to be repeated infinitely. “Life Spills (Again)” is a more musically complex piece, a mid-tempo rocker with peaks of intensity in the choruses. The metaphor of the spider, snake and hawk as humans fulfilling God’s will to spill life is clear. “No News” is more of a straight-ahead song until the spoken middle section when vocalist Joel Hooks, who shines throughout the album, shouts, “Tune out Cheney and Rummy/Fuck ‘em all/’Cause they’re lying corporate fascists/They’ll reap what they sow/They’ll reap what they sow/They’ll reap what they sooooow,” it becomes the emotional high point of the album. “Love Songs” and “Winter’s Dormancy” depart from the political statements to explore more personal ground. The latter also departs in its angular, less assaultive instrumentation and what appears to be a nine-minute song actually contains two short hidden tracks recorded in 2001, “Indonesia” and “Fading.”

BLAMM-O! was recorded as a four-piece but the band has since added bassist Matt Acker to become a five-piece, dual guitar-slingin’ powerhouse. Although the EP loses some of its potency after the political wallop of the first three tracks, it’s still a great collection of rock songs that will make you want to experience BLAMM-O! live.

- Rick Tvedt
Rick's Cafe
August, 2006 - Rick's Cafe


Discography

The Blamm-o! EP - Spring, 2006

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

Formed in 2000, BLAMM-O! has experienced a rollercoaster ride, losing and gaining members while still maintaining their presence in the local rock scene. Stripped down to a four piece consisting of original drummer John Dillett, vocalist Joel G. Hooks, Matt Ackerman on bass, and Jake Martell on guitar, BLAMM-O! recorded at Paradyme Productions in Madison, Wisconsin and released their self titled CD in the Spring of 2006. The five-song disc contains two hidden tracks, "Indonesia" and "Fading" recorded in 2001 (unreleased) and is a sample of their setlist of all original music. The recent acquisition of Matt Acker on bass has allowed Matt Ackerman to join Jake Martell on guitar, returning BLAMM-O! to their desired five-piece format.

Refusing to be boxed in, BLAMM-O!'s mix of hard rock, punk, and pop with an underlying 60's vibe is difficult to label. Polished and professional, Blamm-o! is firing on all cylinders and is eager to expand their bomb-blasting horizons. Explosive, exciting, and entertaining, BLAMM-O!'s live shows are always a crowd pleasing experience. The antics of frontman Joel G. Hooks blur the lines between stage and audience.

With thought provoking lyrics about life, love, and politics, BLAMM-O! delivers a performance which creates light in times of darkness, action rather than apathy and a voice not to be ignored, which cries, "Wake up. Open your eyes. The fuse is lit. The clock is ticking. BLAMM-O!"