I was first introduced to The Blood Brothers almost two years ago. A friend from down the hall recommended …Burn Piano Island, Burn, and I instantly loved Johnny Whitney’s tortured screams and the ridiculously over-the-top nature of their music. Synthesizers and electric guitars, go!
I sought out Crimes soon after listening to Burn, and I loved it. It has earned a top ten album spot from me almost immediately. The Brothers’ pop-infused trash-can-bashing ridiculorock is so unqiue in today’s scene, and it stands out like a peacock with crooked feathers.
Young Machetes opens up with a murderously catchy hook, and then sets off a wall of noise that floods your ears relentlessly. Morgan Henderson’s heartbeat of a bassline rumbles throughout Set Fire To The Face On Fire, and continues on through the rest of the album. There is plenty of the facemelting hardcore instrumentalism that purists remember from Burn, but the boys have added just the right amount of the very same pop-from-hell that made Crimes that much better. Standout tracks include Spit Shine Your Black Clouds, where poppy synths and choral hooks fail to disguise a sad and disturbing story that spouts from Jordan Blilie’s and Whitney’s lips; Vital Beach, which is possibly heavier than anything from Burn or even the Blood Brothers’ earlier releases; and Street Wars / Exotic Foxholes, a dischordant anthem with an ambient outro that leaves you questioning the past five minutes’ happenings. From the decaying riffs of We Ride Skeletal Lightning to the chillingly truthful outro of Lift The Veil, Kiss The Tank (Death’s just death no matter how you dress it up! Oh oh oh, oh oh oh!); from Whitney’s uncomfortably out-of-place piano / vocal solo in the middle of Camouflage, Camouflage to the raging anti-war / anti-materialistic chorus of Huge Gold AK-47, and finally to the amazingly complex and disturbing closer, The Giant Swan, Machetes delivers what any red blooded Brother could expect from a new album.