The Blind Alley


Independent release, 2013

REVIEW BY: Vish Iyer


Exit is the perfect band whose sound can be characterized as a product of “if band x and band y were to have babies:” “band x” in this case being A Perfect Circle, and “band y” being The Cure. To reduce the music of this project – by this Austin Texas one-man mastermind Benjamin Londa – is a little simplistic. But that’s the nature of The Blind Alley: the influences are glaring, and there isn’t enough in terms of creativity that Londa is able to add in order for the album to divest itself from the sounds that inspired it without falling prey. This definitely is a recipe for a boring album, and although in some ways it is, in other ways it is not. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

As much as the fact that The Blind Alley sounds exactly like a confluence between A Perfect Circle and The Cure, it’s comforting in a way – albeit an almost surreal way. If these two bands were ever to unite and cut an album, this would be it. This disc quenches the thirst of many a Goth music fanatic who might have dared to fantasize such a reunion; and kudos to Londa, too, for not butchering the music. Far from it – in fact, the music might be a bit rehashed, but it sounds pretty awesome. And the credit for this should go mainly to Londa’s songwriting, which is very much his own, afterall.

Most of the music on The Blind Alley orbits around slow brooding cuts. Londa has an intense singing style, and although he is not nearly as good a vocalist as Maynard James Keenan, it is almost impossible not to compare his vocals on some instances to that of Keenan’s. Still the moody numbers on this album are incredibly melodic and are evocative of some of The Cure’s new stuff, especially from the Bloodflowers period, with the heavy presence of jangling acoustic guitars on almost all songs, giving a sort of subtlely warm and cozy feeling. The presence of female backup vocals courtesy of Lisa Cuthbert (“Confessional,” “A Fractured Gesture,” “The Paris Heights”) and Candice Sanders (“Alicia Marie”) adds an aural touch, resulting in the album’s best cuts.

As moody as The Blind Alley might be – starting with the album cover itself – it is not as dark as it wants to be. Similarities to other acts are obvious, but Exit has a far more optimistic sound than either bands. Maybe this is a good thing; at least it shows some spirit of originality in the band.

Rating: B

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