Brooklyn-based psychedelic rock band Blackbells have quickly become known for their wall of sound approach, with soaring guitars, sneering vocals and a massive rhythm section. The New Yorker dubbed the bands debut self-titled EP, released in early 2010, radio friendly indie-rock, and the overwhelming amount of positive feedback the band has received since assures that Blackbells is no flash in the pan. The EP hit the #18 spot in CMJs Top 200, and ever since the band has found themselves playing to sold-out crowds across the US and Canada with the likes of Band of Skulls, Alberta Cross, Crash Kings, and The Greenhornes as well as appearances at both CMJ and SXSW in 2010 and 2011.
On the heels of playing in past bands such as Surefire, Reckless Sons, Burn Down the Mission, and Hymns, close friends and venerable veterans of NYCs rock scene Ben Rice (vocals/guitar), Anthony Stella (guitar), Seth Bulkin (bass) and Austin Schumacher (drums), came together to form Blackbells in the winter of 2010. With influences ranging from Echo and the Bunnymen to Oasis and contemporaries Band of Skulls, Blackbells have worked to create a unique aesthetic that breaks new ground.
Their second EP, IxI, sees Blackbells structuring dense, layered guitars awash with reverb against heavy driving rhythms and cavalier vocals. Recorded and produced by Blackbells own Ben Rice in Brooklyn, IxI was mastered by Louie Teran (Band of Skulls, Snow Patrol) with gorgeous cover art by renowned German artist Crash. We've gotten to a point where we have a decent understanding of what we sound like and we wanted to push that as far as we could at this stage in our career and spend less time thinking about our influences says Rice about the new songs. When we recorded our first EP we had been playing together for about 2 weeks and wanted to get the songs down as quickly as possible so that we could get them out to people and start playing live. This time around we had a chance to see how people responded to the songs at shows and then gave ourselves a chance to labor over the recording process for half a year in between touring. We also took a lot more liberties in the studio to try parts and instruments out that we wouldn't necessarily have had on the first EP.
The albums first single, One By One paints a lush sonic dreamscape complete with moody riffs and enormous drums that harken back to the glory days of bands like Oasis and The Verve. David Franklin, who is known for his work with bands such as Black Taxi and The Wicked Tomorrow, shot the accompanying video for One By One. This fall sees Blackbells planning for a string of appearances surrounding the release of IxI, including a record release show at New Yorks Mercury Lounge and a performance at the DeLuna Music Festival in Pensacola, Florida.