The last six years or so has seen a significant rise in bands aping the classic sounds of the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal. Most of these bands seem to be young Scandinavian or American chaps keen to emulate their heroes, with some basing their entire careers on plagiarising their idols; yes, we’re looking at you White Wizzard with your blatant Maiden rip-offs! Fortunately, The Blackmail Snaps are here to quite rightly reclaim the NWOBHM for the British with a little UFO and Thin Lizzy thrown in for good measure.
Maybe it’s because the members of the band look old enough to have experienced the movement first hand but they have nailed their sound perfectly here. Absolutely everything about When One Door Closes, Smash A Window screams of the glory days of the late 70’s and early 80’s. Featuring a raw, uncluttered production, the bands earnest delivery and stripped down songs speak volumes, at times recalling the blue-collar authenticity of AC/DC but with a distinctly British edge.
Guitarist/vocalist Richie Davenport riffs his arse off throughout and his vocal style – while certainly not perfect – suits the music to a tee. Ably backed by the the rhythm section of Marc Hood and David Nutall, the boys anchor the The Blackmail Snaps’ sound with an unfussy and perfectly pitched performance.
There’s just one issue. Whilst the sound and delivery of this album is perfect for the style of music, When One Door Closes, Smash A Window is missing a handful of killer tunes and choruses to really make it memorable. Apart from final track, “Distraction”, which starts with a jaunty bass riff, most of the tracks are fairly formulaic but The Blackmail Snaps are a band full of promise and When One Door Closes, Smash A Window is a fine introduction to their hard rockin’ world! 6/10