Album review: Blackout Problems – RIOT

German rockers Blackout Problems let rip on potent new LP, RIOT…

Album review: Blackout Problems – RIOT
Jake Richardson

The title of RIOT, the new album from Munich’s Blackout Problems, serves as an anagram for trio – a nod to the fact this is the group’s first LP as a trio. But while they may be a member lighter than when they dropped previous record DARK in 2021, their aptitude for politically charged rock hasn’t diminished. RIOT sees Mario Radetzky, Marcus Schwarzbach and Moritz Hammrich primed to rage against the state of the world in 2024.

Frontman Mario has never sounded better than he does here, something evidenced by opener DNA, where his impassioned, Jared Leto-esque vocals serve as the rallying cry to really bring the song to life. It’s a call to arms that’s mirrored by the urgency of WHALES and emotional rocker STASH, but RIOT really takes things up a gear when another talented vocalist enters the fray. Rou Reynolds of Enter Shikari – recent touring partners of Blackout Problems – guests on GLOFS, and his instantly recognisable delivery elevates the track to greater heights. The sonic impact of Rou and Mario dovetailing in such a forceful way is significant.

That high isn’t quite hit again – there are a couple of tracks here that are more akin to a simple scuffle than the full-blown riot the title suggests – but the piano-led TALKTOME does possess plenty of charm and some delightful melodies to boot.

The overall result is an emotionally charged and stylistically varied record which does a solid job of holding a mirror up to our broken world, and soundtracking the desire of many to see something better.

Verdict: 3/5

For fans of: Enter Shikari, Normandie, Thirty Seconds To Mars

Blackout Problems’ RIOT is out now via Hansa.

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