I knew nothing about BLAB aka Frances Murray before listening to her second single, ‘Casual Sex’, and my initial thoughts are how her vocals remind me of The Lovely Eggs, Holly Ross specifically, from the Lancastrian punk band, who I love. It has the same lo-fi DIY sound as said Eggs, less polished perhaps, but the Eggs have been going since the mid noughties. I then find myself taken to the 90s with the guitars; grunge-y, riffs and hooks, Palm Desert rock, and the punk vocals; Lush, Kenickie vibes. There are echoes of late 70s, early 80s post-punk band, Au Pairs, in there too as I listen. I bet BLAB are brilliant live, I can’t wait for that. Cold pint in my hand, some lanky fellow right in the way ffs, BLAB with the guitars turned up, sound engineer in a t-shirt I don’t understand, a beard behind the bar telling me “Guinness is off, Moretti’s off”, oh the joy of the lost rock venue!
‘Casual Sex’ is better the second time I listen to it and the third time, its building crescendo is great and as mentioned before, will be great live. Have I mentioned I can’t wait for live music? The lyrics are witty and clever, exposing of youth in all the right ways. Her 2020 debut release ‘R.I.P’ was regarded as an ‘instant classic’ having been played on Radio X, BBC Music and Amazing Radio. Ollie Winberg, presenter at BBC Music Introducing in Essex calls BLAB the “next big name in rock music”. It would be great to have a new, young, British female rock artist representing as we’ve not had that in a while. BLAB is a multi-instrumentalist, singer and songwriter to boot – exactly the kind of talent needed to continue rock’s legacy. I sound like Jack Black. You’re not hardcore unless you live hardcore. It’s no surprise that this artist is on Cool Thing Records, the dynamic and hip Southend label behind Asylums, Indian Queens and We Are Suspects. Getting back to the track though, BLAB herself says ‘Casual Sex’ is “one of my favourite songs I’ve written so far”, and you can tell that in the sass and gusto of delivery. It’s a catchy, accomplished, fun, hark back to the 90s through 21st century eyes.
‘Casual Sex’ is out on the 15th January 2021 on Cool Thing Records. BLAB is currently working on her debut album with Sam Duckworth (Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly) and Rees Broomfield at SS2 Recording.