Last summer, No Blindfold became one of the first local bands in years to enter rotation on a big-time Cleveland radio station. Up in the Sky, the band's full-length debut, makes it easy to hear why 92.3 Xtreme Radio got behind the group: With big, Black Angus riffs, throbbing electronics, and growling vocals that forever erupt into economy-sized hooks, No Blindfold sounds like money in the bank.
Of course, what sells and what sucks aren't mutually exclusive, and there are times when the album succumbs to self-parody. Frontman Jamie Ballachino sings of lies, liars, and lying like Trent Reznor to the next power. And the band's barked-out backing vocals are a bit too indebted to groups like Sevendust. But if this bunch lacks subtlety, the same can't be said of its promise and professionalism. And when they go for the knockout on balled-fist rockers like "Copper Rain" and the title cut, they work up enough sweat to short-circuit their Casios.