The Blackmail Seduction

The Blackmail Seduction combines a mixture of Alternative Rock, Pop Rock with a pinch of Grunge. Band members include: Jess McClellan: Lead and Backing Vocals, Guitars, Troy Hardy: Guitars, Backing Vocals, Keys, and Additional Bass on “War At Home”, Mike Mennell: Bass, Blair Sinta: Drums and Percussion, Additional Percussion on “You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away” by Jaden McClellan and Julian McClellan, Produced and Mixed by Troy Hardy

The band has been favorably compared to Cheap Trick, Green Day, Tom Petty, Foo Fighters, Queens of the Stone Age, and even The Beatles. The later may have been from an older family member. This CD begins with a cover of The Beatles classic ‘You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away’  and ends with a very mind altering rocker with an amazing conclusion.  The material between the first and last song are no fillers either. Every song has the power to stand on its own but they are even more potent as a completed thought. I have always suggested this to Indie musicians over the years.  I would suggest the artist/band puts the best three songs first.  If you are trying to get signed, favorably reviewed or insure an audition to tour with some of the world’s best artist’s.  The reason I say this is because most A&R people never get past the first three songs. They either like you or they don’t in about ten minutes.   Because this CD was filled with quality songs the best three first idea won’t apply. Musicianship on this release was similar in content and sound quality to anything done by Tom Petty or Green Day only much better vocals. Jess McClellan has a brilliant voice with excellent control. The vocal harmonies were spot on giving the listener a very enjoyable listening experience. McClellan’s voice was dead center in the sound stage and never caused any listener fatigue common on music with too many vocal effects. He even enunciated to the point I could understand every word he sang.   That is amazing for a rock band. I rarely do a review without reviewing how the CD was recorded and mixed. Once again the studio work was of the highest quality you will get from a rock CD. All instruments filled the sound stage and the two guitar attack of Jess McClellan and Troy Hardy sounded like the two took inspiration from each other.   The use of multiple guitars helped with the CD’s overall timber by adding a pristine finishing touch to something already great.

BOTTOM LINE: I loved this CD. It was the best Indie release I have heard this year. My only wish would have been for a slightly more memorable guitar solo to finish the dramatic ending of the final song. Think Pink Floyd and David Gilmore’s historical solo on Comfortably Numb.


Drew Middlebrooks