Full Album Stream: Blind Girls – “An Exit Exists”

An Exit Exists, the new album from Aussie screamo/hardcore outfit Blind Girls, hits like a punch—or twelve punches, to be more accurate—to the face. Their third full-length since 2018, and seventh release in general, An Exit Exists is honed to a sharp point, the songs being delivered in short, chaotic bursts punctuated by vocalist Sharni Brouwer’s emotive shrieks.

Blind Girls fit into the screamo categorization but there are no weak emo moments or unwelcome twinkle parts. An Exit Exists has more in common with Botch or Orchid’s Dance Tonight! Revolution Tomorrow! than anything else—it’s abrasive, at times technical, fast and often discordant, filled with blast beats, panic chords and breakdowns (musical and emotional). In another decade, one might have called Blind Girls emoviolence.

Persistent Vision Records will release Blind Girls’ latest album on July 5, but Decibel is streaming it early alongside an interview with the band.

Blind Girls plays a type of screamo/hardcore that is very aggressive. Where are your influences coming from?
Ben: Our influences range from a lot of different styles of music. I feel like the longer we’ve played/written music together the wider the spread in sound our influences become. Originally I’d say we were specifically influenced by a handful of “screamo” bands that we all loved. How ever now influence comes from all kinds of music and it’s been fun pushing things in directions that we as a band haven’t explored yet. 

You’ve been a band for over a decade at this point and on An Exit Exists, you’re really pushing your sound outward with more melodic and atmospheric songwriting. What drew you in these directions?
Ben Smith [drums]: I’d say it ranges from a lot of what I said above. But also this record is our first having Luke from the beginning stages of writing. Luke coming to the rest of the band with songs demoed has been super fresh and cool. It’s brought new perspective on parts and was cool to mix this in with our usual way of writing songs together

Your songs aren’t any longer despite the advancements in your songwriting. Is it part of the fun or challenge for you to fit more ideas into these minute-long frameworks?
Luke Sweeney [guitar]: Blind Girls, like most screamo bands we enjoy, have always naturally written songs that aren’t interested in overstaying their welcome. When ever we do write a song that happens to be on the longer side we don’t do it to be contrived, we do it because, like the shorter songs, we’re trying to write parts that make us feel excited, so duration is very arbitrary for us. 

I think the real reason we tend to write shorter songs is because we’ve been playing such chaotic music for so long and you naturally want to up the ante all the time, which results in a lot of ideas in a short amount of time.

Sharni, your vocals and lyrics really stand out because they’re so emotional. Is it hard for you to retell personal traumas via music or does it feel cathartic?
Sharni: The lyrical content of An Exit Exists is probably the most personal I’ve put out there, so initially it was a little daunting to share. But it’s definitely cathartic. Being able to scream about something that I’ve kept predominantly to myself is a special kind of therapy.

Blind Girls have a pretty lengthy tour of the United States coming up soon, where you’ll be covering most of the country. What are the biggest differences you notice when touring the States versus Australia?
Mark Grant [bass]: It will be the longest tour we have ever done, 28 shows in total. Usually when we tour Australia we do about eight shows split over two to three weeks. So doing 28 shows with one day off in the middle is a little daunting but I feel like we need to go for it and make the most of the experience, it’s not every day we get to do something like this so we are all very grateful that it is possible. 

The biggest difference that I see is there is simply more people in the USA, more bands and more cities to play compared to Australia. 

It seems like a kid could hit a show four nights of the week in a spot like Southern California or New York or Rhode Island right now. That can’t really happen in our music scene in Australia. There’s a screamo show like once every 3 months. 

What’s cool about our USA tour is that it was booked DIY, mostly through Instagram DMs, maybe a couple of emails. For the last 6-8 months I’ve been chatting to so many kind, cool, like-minded people from each spot, setting shows up with them, talking to punk/DIY venues, checking out their friends bands and building line ups for the shows. I feel like the spirit in the community is really strong right now, clips drop every week of shows going off with kids going crazy to bands, it makes me really psyched to experience the shows. 

We hope that through us playing with and making friends with the bands on this tour we can return the favor and help them out if touring Australia is possible for them. 

It would be great for the Australian scene to have some fresh bands and legendary screamo bands come over to rip shows with us. 

What happens for Blind Girls after this tour and album release? Your last record came out two years before An Exit Exists — are you ready to start working on another or give yourselves room to breathe?
Julian: We have plans to play shows in Australia over the end of the year and start of next year, hopefully with an international band we are excited to bring over. We haven’t really spoken about anything past that, but we enjoy making music together and I think we have more to explore within this context.