Til Death Do Us Part is the third full length album from LA based Blacklist Union, following on from 2006’s After the Mourning, and 2008’s Breakin’ Bread with the Devil. Formed in 2004 by singer/songwriter Tony West, they describe themselves as “unfiltered and in your face,” and this album certainly is. Written by West, along with previous album contributors Mark Fain and Carmine D’Amico, along with Anthony “Trouble” Valli of Crazytown, and Todd Youth, whose previous credits include working with Glenn Danzig, Til Death do us Part features West along with members of Saliva, and Hunt Sales, known for his work with David Bowie and Iggy and the Stooges.
With references like this, the record really can’t fail to impress, and it does so from the outset. Title track Til Death Do Us Part and Alabama Slammer set the tone with heavy guitars, and singalong backing vocals.
The middle section of the album features, for me, the standout tracks. This is clearly a personal album, covering drug addiction, sex, love, and everything in between. For me, this is summed up best by Game Over, Same Ol’ Pressure and Diggin’ 4 Gold. Same Ol’ Pressure sticks out as the catchiest song on the album, you’ll be nodding in time to the whole song. Tony West has a really high register in his voice and these songs show that off, whereas other songs on the album aren’t so well suited. Don’t Change is a cover of the 1982 INXS single. Far more guitar led than the original, which was very 80’s keyboard driven, West sounds almost Brian Molko-esque in his vocal. I’m not sure his voice quite hits the mark here, comparisons to Michael Hutchence leave West trailing in second place.With heavy drums and guitars you can’t help but feel a lower, growling voice would’ve brought more to the song.
To end the album we have The Lick Kitty Split Theme Song, and I Don’t Love You Anymore. The Lick Kitty Split Theme Song sounds like it’s going to be a gimmicky, throwaway slice of filler, but is actually one of the best songs on the album. Catchy, great guitar work, and full marks for a brilliant piece of wordplay with the title! I Don’t Love you Anymore is completely different, far more morose in mood, but every bit as worthy of a listen or two.
To sum up, Til Death Do Us Part is a great listen. Tony West’s voice is original and while the influence of Alice in Chains, Stone Temple Pilots and Guns and Roses is obvious in his high, sometimes whining vocals, the songs are clearly written around his voice. With the exception of Don’t Change, the one song on the album not written for him, Til Death Do Us Part is a really good piece of rock music.
1) Til Death Do Us Part
2) Alabama Slammer
3) Blown Away
4) Game Over
5) Same Ol’ Pressure
6) Diggin’ 4 Gold
7) Feed the Snakes
8) I Do
9) Don’t Change
10) The Lick Kitty Split Theme Song
11) I Don’t Love You Anymore[amazonmp3 asin=”B008ATKEJK”]