Aspiring musicians clutching a stack of CD-R’s in your sweaty palms, take heart. Every once in a while, forcing someone to listen to your demos works out really, really well.
Such is the case with Cambridge, Massachusetts outfit Blackout Balter. Frontman Phil Cohen just happened to get his rough cuts in front of The Killers’ guitarist Dave Keuning. Keuning was so impressed that he let the band record in The Killers’ own Battle Born Studios.
“It was all very surreal. There we were in Vegas, at The Killers’ studio, with Dave, with [producer Robert] Root, banging on The Killers’ instruments to make our music,” Cohen said. “I’ll never forget being in the studio and the four of us in the band just looking at each other, thinking, ‘Is this really happening?’”
Listening to the result of those sessions, the group’s debut EP Twist and Bend, it’s easy to hear what drew Keuning to the band. While the instrumentation is a bit gruffer than the shimmering sound that The Killers made their name on, Cohen’s singing contains that same theatrical bent that runs throughout the groups’ best tracks. Stream Twist and Bend below.