How many seconds into Bloodmines, the second full-length from British Columbia hardcore outfit Baptists did you become aware this was recorded and produced by Kurt Ballou? It’s unmistakable, and that’s a huge plus if you’re a massive fan of the man’s work as a producer. If you’re not, I don’t know if anything is going to change your mind here, because this sounds like like any number of hardcore bands recorded under the Godcity banner. Make of that what you will.
I dig Ballou, I dig the sound, and for the most part I dig Bloodmines. At 26 minutes it certainly doesn’t overstay its welcome, and it hits all the right notes for what it’s reaching for, which is that modern hardcore punk vibe. When things slow down, like on “Vistas” and the title track, it definitely gets more interesting. But otherwise I don’t find a lot to cling to, even as I can really admire the sound (I am a bit of a sucker for Ballou).
Note: Yeah, this is a little backwards, since I just covered Belus. But I forgot to add this to the list and when I did and re-sorted realized it missed its window. From time to time I’ll throw in some new purchases to break things up a bit.
Another Note: I haven’t been mentioning on here. Although I was familiar with Baptists, I got their album via the VNYL subscription service. I tend to do the pure “curated” package which is three surprise albums a month. It’s usually one metal album and then a mix of jazz or psychedelic rock, and they surprisingly hit more often than they miss. So this came in one of those packages, which is why I own it on vinyl. It sounds great on vinyl. Does it sound better than a CD, or a digital file? Not to these ears, but it doesn’t;t sound any worse, either.
And I like the cover nice and big.