Blessure – Self-Titled EP (Promo Tape)
Basque band Blessure continue to weave a tapestry of joy, strength, and catchy, chorus-pedal-driven tunes filled with hope and imagination.
Punk rock has never shied away from its ACAB spirit. Embodying anti-cop sentiments with an unwavering punk attitude comes the French-speaking Basque band Blessure. As 2023 dawned, they unleashed a powerful promo tape, leading with the charged track “Ils sont partout”.
As the echoes of “Tout le monde déteste la police” (The whole world hates the police) reverberate, the stirring backdrop of France’s tumultuous times becomes starkly clear. With rising police brutality overshadowing pension reform protests, unions and students finding common ground in resistance, and the battlefield scenes at Sainte-Soline marked by the excessive use of tear gas and rubber bullets by hordes of riot cops, the context is apparent. Add to this harrowing backdrop the unpardonable death of Adama Traoré—a young black man who met a tragic end in police custody—igniting nationwide uproar, and “Ils sont partout”’s defiant message is magnified tenfold.
Yet, don’t be fooled into thinking of Blessure as just another hard-boiled Oi! band railing against the cops and the corrupt system they serve. Beyond their raw and biting background, they artfully weave a tapestry of joy, strength, and catchy, chorus-pedal-driven tunes filled with hope and imagination. They deftly blend anthemic tunes reminiscent of Camera Silens with an infectious post-punk vibe, evoking memories of Blitz’s iconic yet divisive Second Empire Justice.
Blessure’s 2022 EP Ekaitza / Sabaté stood out to me for its dance-inducing chords and transcendent vocals. This latest offering elevates that signature sound, introducing a richer melodic structure, more nuanced vocals from their singer Zaida—still not so common to hear female voices in the Oi! scene—and truly addictive rhythms and gang choruses. Tracks like “La manière” and “Merci” are manifestations of passionate songwriting, boasting soaring mid-tempo melodies and brilliant lyricism about finding strength and empowerment in a world that drags you down. There’s a palpable personal touch that resonates in every note. The reimagined rendition of “Ça suffit”, originally from their 2019 debut split with Golpe de Gracia, is nothing short of a masterpiece.
For loyal connoisseurs of modern francophone punk rock with definite Oi! influences, such as Syndrome 81, Squelette or Cran, Blessure is a must. Let’s hope these four tracks find their rightful place on Blessure’s upcoming full-length album.
Below is the official video for Blessure’s single “Ekaitza”, which was released last year.