Stop us if you’ve heard this one before: a vocalist for a little-known, unsigned band from Cambridge, Massachusetts, gets introduced to the guitarist from a 7-time Grammy-nominated, multi-platinum-selling, arena-playing rock band. Impressed with the unsigned band’s demo recordings, the guitarist invited the group to record at his band’s studio and said he wanted to play on the record.
It happened last summer, when Phil Cohen, lead vocalist/guitarist for Blackout Balter, met up with Dave Keuning from The Killers and listened to the demo together. Within a few weeks of that meeting, Blackout Balter was at The Killers’ Battle Born Studios in Vegas recording their debut EP with longtime Killers and Imagine Dragons collaborator Robert Root producing.
The result is Twist and Bend, an electrifying 6-song disc of punk-dusted alt rock that’s been described as early Weezer meets The Pixies. Keuning plays guitar on two of the tracks (“Heavy Hand,” “Hello Operator”) and cello on a third ("Goodbye Cambridge”).