A group of seasoned musicians, each known for music within different subgenres got together in 2019 with the vision of creating music without boundaries, to feed off each others ideas and spark that creativity that often pushes the envelope and gets people talking. In choosing to create a concept piece for their first record, former Mallory Knox frontman Mikey Chapman, former Snuff and This is Menace bassist Lee Erinmez and guitarists Luke Hicks and Rich Watson haven given themselves a structure to work from and an idea to focus on and so Black Sky Research was born. In the studio they were joined by Jason Bowld, a man known for his work in Pitchshifter and Bullet For My Valentine and to get the sound they were looking for they enlisted the help of producer Matt Terry of Vada Studios, along with engineer by George Perks (EnterShikari, Doves,Black Foxxes) before handing over to the legendary AdrianBushby (Muse,FooFighters) for mixing and Robin Schmidt (The 1975, Nothing But Thieves) for mastering.
“One” focusses on an apocalyptic event and then transcends across the events that follow over the course of a single night like skimming a stone across a mill pond and watching the ripples. The opening verse of “Light Up The Sky” builds in waves with the vocal stylings of Chapman reminiscent of those of Jonny Craig in Slaves in the way that they are the focal point of the sound and sit above the mix. A programmed undercurrent sits beneath the instrumentals with soft synths and guitars layering up against the bigger drum sound, the pop of the chorus which jumps out unexpectedly like a thief in the night makes for an arena filling Alternative track that doesn’t play too deeply on the terrorist attack that is announced via a sample so if you didn’t realise the concept, it could be passed off. “Midnight” follows suit in a similarly bold vein with a little more drive and energy, a bursts of break beats adding just one of many nuances that catch you up over the replays before the rich and velvety smooth “Twilight” which has more of an modernised take on an 80’s classic. Think “In The Air Tonight” by Phil Collins as performed by Nonpoint and you get the idea, big, bold and dynamic. Praying to hear word of survival “Transmit” sees Chapman in fine storytelling form and again cleverly doing so; ensuring that the concept isn’t alienating and that one song isn’t necessarily interdependent on another, each one can stand up in isolation on its own right while they work so well together. Funkier basslines and groove make “Dawn” that much more radio friendly or an Alternative club night floor filler. The thought of potentially losing someone important is replaced by the realisation that they may have been taken for granted and a desire to draw them closer with new eyes. Emotional, rich, warm, vibrant and bursting with life, Black Sky Research could be on their way to something big here [7.5/10]
1. Light Up The Sky
“One” by Black Sky Research is out 27th November 2020