November 6, 2003

Test Spin: The Blow

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There is no easy way to characterize this album. If anything, it is riddled with irony and mystery. In fact, The Blow’s The Concussive Caress is just that — a soft record that will most likely knock you out, leaving you bewildered and begging for an answer. An answer to what, you ask? That’s the point — I don’t know.

The Concussive Caress is The Blow’s (or Khaela Maricich’s) debut release. It isn’t an album as much as it is a collection of tracks, which range from solemn meditations on relationships to frenzied attacks on common sense. However, as fractured as the whole record may seem, there is a vague thread of continuity from the beginning to the end. It is the uniform sense of confusion that permeates the entire album, giving the listener the feeling that something is missing. It’s a lot like eating a plate full of cookies without drinking a glass of milk. You can do it, but there’s something wrong with you afterwards.

I won’t bother listing some of the better tracks because it wouldn’t capture the essence of The Blow’s debut. Due to the diversity of the songs, it wouldn’t do the album justice to single out one style. The irony of this release is that even though it doesn’t necessarily flow like a conventional album, it has to be listened to like one. Few people would compare The Concussive Caress to Dark Side of the Moon, but both albums require full attention and patience from the listener for maximal appreciation of the content.

Archived article by Ratheet Pandya