The Blood Brothers, known for their lambastes of chaotic
noise rock and punk sore onslaughts, have returned with their
latest release Young Machetes. The album is a barrage of
tangled guitars, thumping drum successions, cymbal crashes, and
a dual set of abrasive vocal registers and screaming falsettos
by lead singers Jordan Blilie and Johnny Whitney
(also one of the band's keyboardist). As much as every song is
mixed differently, each song also uses the same ingredients keeping
a continuity that uniformly stamps the first 13 tracks with exhaustive
funk, rock, and punk salvos similarly to Glassjaw and MC5.
The last two numbers, "Street Wars/Exotic Foxholes"
and "Giant Swan" slow the pace down to an atmospheric
soft rock tempo and concludes the album on a more kinder, gentler
complexity of instrument motions.
Born in Seattle in 1997, the Blood Brothers were formed by Blilie,
Whitney, bassist/keyboardist Morgan Henderson, drummer
Mark Gajadhar, and guitarist Cody Votolato. Their
latest release produced by their long time collaborator John
Goodmanson (Sleater Kinney, Blonde Redhead)
and Guy Picciotto (of Fugazi) kept the band's hyper-ness
for blaring instrument parts and jamming vocals spewed across
the successions at peak level. The band's priority isn't to create
consonance or melodic transitions along their movements, but to
rile up the sounds emitted from their instruments. They manipulate,
mutilate, and mutate their sounds into wicked forms and frantic
arrangements that bumbles, bashes, and bounces at a boisterous
pitch. The first track "Set Fire To The Face On Fire"
catapults a mix of shouting and screaming vocals along tangled
guitar lines and savage cymbal action that accumulates into a
rash of discordant movements.
There is rhythm in the vocal melodies reflective of Mars Volta
in tracks like "We Ride Skeletal Lightning," "Laser
Life," and "Johnny Ripper." The Blood Brothers
like to put funk in their punkcore and noise rock waddles and
some animation and jive in their vocal screams and falsettos.
The tension in the guitar chords and the crazed speed of the rhythm
patterns are comparable to The Locust, although one element
that the Blood Brothers use which others don't are rolling keyboard
scats that undertone the neurotic impulses and trampling gangways
in tracks like "Camouflage, Camouflage," "Nausea
Shreds Yr Head," and "Spit Shine Your Black Clouds."
In many ways the Blood Brothers are harbingers of hard funk rock,
a combination that puts hypertension in with jive vocals and funk
beats. The album's two final tracks slow down the clips and give
the songs a softer edge that take in a breezy soft rock vibe.
They are the only songs that actually won't try to slaughter your
The Blood Brothers have made a career of creating songs that
assault and pounce on the listener. Their mingling of noisy
instrument parts and caustic vocal lines is their calling card,
it's how they enter a room and how they jam together. It's a
menace, it's honest, and it is veritably emotional.
1. Set Fire To The Face On Fire
2. We Ride Skeletal Lightning
3. Laser Life
4. Camouflage, Camouflage
5. You're The Dream Unicorn
6. Vital Beach
7. Spit Shine Your Black Clouds
8. 1,2,3,4 Guitars
9. Lift The Veil, Kiss The Tank
10. Nausea Shreds Yr Head
11. Rat Rider
12. Johnny Ripper
13. Huge Gold AK-47
14. Street Wars/Exotic Foxholes
15. Giant Swan
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