REVIEW album Old Subbacultcha Old Subbacultcha

Looking to the future with Blizzard's new EP

Old Subbacultcha

Old Subbacultcha

Blizzard aka Brad Green, is a multi-talented and multi-faceted Grime MC from Manchester. 

BlizzardBlizzard - Testing The Water (Eight In Brackets), out now, 9/10

...And Blizzard is representing Manchester along with the likes of R.I.O for the past couple of years, indeed Blizzard featured on R.I.O’s underground track ‘We Love Grime Part 2’ a few years ago, which was a both an ode to grime and showed both R.I.O’S and Blizzards rapping skills and potential in general. But it was in 2012 with Blizzards first EP ‘Sooner Than Never EP’ which was when people took notice when it stormed the iTunes charts. But much like its close cousin Hip Hop, Grime has had to adapt too survive without forgetting its basis especially in recent years, whether that’s taking in funky house or pop or going more commercial as it has done in recent years. But within the last year or so rappers/MC’s within Grime, and Hip Hop as well, have found a new creative momentum, where they’re trying to be more original and, more individual sounding, being able to do what they want to do, by being on independent labels or their own label where they’re putting out albums, mixtapes, EPs, projects etc by themselves, and saying what they want to say, without having some record label executive breathing down their necks. Indeed Blizzard has released his new EP on his own label ‘Eight In Brackets.’ Grime and Grime artists seems to thrive when it and they go against the grain and commenting on life the way they see it. Blizzard has quite clearly recognised this for Grime, and for himself personally, and it shows on his new EP ‘Testing The Water.’ Because as well as being able to rap/MC - and boy can he rap especially as he’s been involved in both ‘Lord Of The Mics’, and the ‘Don’t Flop’ UK rap battle platform, where he’s battled with rival MCs and rappers, amongst other things - he can also sing and he produces as well, plus he’s been playing piano in the last couple of years. You can hear all of this on Blizzards new EP, which has just been released, and has already gone down a storm on BBC Radio 1xtra amongst other places. You could say that Blizzard is the David Bowie of Grime in that he ‘s not afraid to step outside of his comfort zone and find a new dynamic or direction whilst still trying to remain true to Grime. You can hear this new zest throughout his new EP. As he says on the trippy yet ‘hard’ opening track ‘BLI’, ‘I’m more direct than a straight line … still the only MC that stays old skool and is new skool at the same time.’ He’s not beating around the bush when he’s telling you what is happening and what he’s doing with these new tracks on his new EP. Also on the title track of the EP ‘Testing The Water’, he says, ‘Its time to start a new chapter.’ And throughout the EP there are lots of references to Blizzard finding his ‘path’, or finding his ‘calling’, so he’s clearly looking to the future, and looking for something new. Blizzard also sings his heart out on the title track ‘Testing The Water’, its hard not to get carried along by this impassioned track, and it gets better with every listen. Then there’s the electro rocker of ‘Kids of The Night’, which is a stadium anthem and a half when it gets going. ‘Leave Me Now’, goes down a ‘conscious’ almost poetic route, which although there’s a nagging little beat and a guitar line which rocks its up a little bit underneath, it’s the most downbeat track on here, but there’s a sophistication that takes it somewhere else. Also it’s a track full of regrets with his relationship with people but also with music too. Then there’s the stripped back ‘Paradise Island’, where its just Blizzards impressive wordplay and a pretty thumping beat in the background. He namedrops the likes of Jake Bugg, learning from the likes of Four Tet and Bonobo. But he also mentions listening to Radiohead giving us a glimpse into his diverse record collections and influences at the same time. ‘Back In The Day’ sees him in reminiscent mode, essentially a look back on his life and ‘how things used to be’, but still with one eye on the future. Then there’s the gorgeous yet heartbreaking ‘Never Forget’, which has a gospel glow too it. It grows into this sparse yet epic, tear-drenched, sound which really soars towards the end. For me it’s the hightlight, of a pretty diverse, epic, and ambitious EP. Blizzard is quite clearly someone who is not willing to be held back, and possibly like Bowie, he’s aiming for Mars and beyond. As the title of his EP suggests Blizzard is not afraid to test the water. Thanks to Jenna Lee at Jenna Lee PR