Brilliantly dark mayhem

It’s not what BDM stands for, but the alt-rockers’ new EP shows it may as well be.


Alt-rock is not an easy genre to make a mark on. While it has changed its face and style a few times over the past few decades, it has still amassed an impressive roster of artists with distinctive sounds and wealths of talent. Many newer artists in the scene believe that have the potential to make a difference and completely shake up the genre, but very few actually do or are able to.

Then there’s some like The Black Delta Movement, who are the type of band that seem to believe that the best way to actually make a difference to a genre is to deliver everything fans have come to expect, but in a way that is better than the rest. And if their new EP Seven Circles is a strong enough indicator, they do so perfectly.

The whole experience is a brilliantly dark blend of desert-rock and the kind of overdriven guitar soundscapes that come to mind when somebody says ‘alt-rock’. Opening number and title track Seven Circles, for example, consists largely of a staccato guitar part and a constant, semi-frantic drum rhythm that keeps the momentum going. Ultimately, that is what the track works to achieve: a constant sense of high momentum while the vocals ground it with a ‘no-fucks-given’ delivery.

It’s a strong opener and the type of track that doesn’t aim to impress as much as invite listeners into the rest of the release – admittedly, an unusual tactic for a title track – and this works well. Second track Charlie Don’t Surf is the stand-out of the EP with its pit-filling, desert-rock vibes and blistering guitar tones that bridge the gap between alternative-rock and moody, brooding garage rock.

Fundamentally, that is what BDM do best. Seven Circles is an EP that isn’t quite generic alt-rock, isn’t quite desert-rock, and doesn’t feel as raw as to be garage, but it does blend the best elements of each into one coherent listening experience. Which, in essence, is what a lot of alt-rock acts fail to do when they set out to achieve. BDM make studio recordings feel exciting and like a musically inspiring moment of reflection. It’s nothing groundbreaking, but it’s enough to matter.

Seven Circles is available on Bandcamp.

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