The Blam Blams have released their debut album Opening Night. It’s a record that follows the life of Sydney Fabel, a queer actor/artist living in 1970s London about to step out onto the stage for the first time. This concept provides an insight into the Sydney’s life, as it sees the album explore the themes of self-expression, anxiety and sexuality throughout. It is a ballsy, ambitious listen and one that absolutely warrants your attention.
I was turned onto these guys back in May with the release of ‘Throwaway Lines’. The single is a sprawling array of guitar riffs and harmonies that fills the room with grandeur. Its placement in the middle of Opening Night comes at a pivotal moment as Sydney begins to feel frustrated with his audience and partner, further projecting the album’s overarching theme of strained communication. It’s determined to groove but has an edge to it that brings darkness to the airwaves, which is executed wonderfully by the collision of momentous vocals and shredding guitar solos.
It makes it interesting to go back through the record after hearing ‘Throwaway Lines’. ‘Opening Night’ kicks things off with a storming rush of emotions as Sydney prepares to face his audience for the first time, backed by a glorious set of keys and guitars and bolstered by the drums, that seem to illustrate the nerves. It leads into ‘Overture’ which hints at many musical moments we’d go on to hear throughout the record, driven by a sweet 70s riff that sounds straight from The Doors’ discography.
It’s at this point I realised Opening Night is something quite different from your standard album. This is not a set of songs but a full-blown performance. I could quite easily picture Sydney Fabel on the stage and feeling these emotions. ‘Blue Fire’ is six minutes of twists and turns, heading into various directions and descends into madness with primal drumming and pianos that cascade into darkness, before launching into a ridiculously catchy guitar riff that sends the audience home happy.
The Blam Blams have produced a record that’s larger than life and created a character you want to root for. They’ve aimed for ambitious highs and certainly reached them. Opening Night is an absolute joy to listen to, and I will always remember the life of Sydney Fabel.