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The Blood Brothers - Crimes
by Mark Hensch

Five Star: A look at albums that are so good that they impress even the most cynical of critics. Very few albums are superior enough to obtain a five star rating but occasionally a band slips through the river of mediocrity that is the modern music industry and they produce an album that restores our faith in the future of rock! This series is a look at such albums. 

What do you get when you cross post-modern poetic prose that borders on genius, wicked strange guitar effects, and vocals that sound like a slew of little girls being brutally murdered all at the same time, influenced by a world that is going increasingly mad?

The answer should be increasingly clear with the October 12th release of Seattle's own Blood Brothers album numero four, AKA the simply named Crimes. After last year's major-label debut on ARTISTdirect with Burn Piano Island, Burn, many foolish naysayers said a band this  insanely strange couldn't keep defying expectations after several albums, ranging from This Adultery is Ripe to March on Electric Children and rarities album Rumours Laid Waste. Burn is quite simply, at least in my opinionated mind, the MOST dangerous album to hit the punk/emo/hardcore genre in a decade or more, and maybe every genre in general. Though all of the previous Blood Brothers CDs have been expectation defying pleasures for long-time fans such as myself, Burn gave the world a downright shot of PCP in the arm; it's horribly surreal lyrics must give censors nightmares, it's album art probably frightens most children, and it's quite simply "a pack of half-starved schizophrenic jaguars getting high on really bad acid and indirectly tearing modern society to shreds" to quote myself.

So after an album like that, I was honestly skeptical of what Crimes would bring. And to my utter delight, this CD is yet another example of what true punk sounds like. These guys are so damn punk they even want to alienate me, a loyal fan. They have toned down the near-constant chorus of jaguar yelps and alternated them with cynical, dark, and downright creepy pop music. This CD is every bit as mind-blowing (lyrically and musically) as any other previous work, but it is also strangely lighter. Many might attribute this to the band signing over to V2 records and "selling out," but any turncoat who says this would quickly change the tune upon hearing the complete and utter anarchy this album brings to our ears.

"Feed me to the Forest" grinds in with spooky, mechanical scratching notes and riffs that sound like a Bauhaus seance, though vaguely. Frontman Jordan Blillie lays down his mind-blowing lyrics, before a lightning quick chorus, jaguar yells, and random piano keys. "Trash flavored trash" is the best Blood Brothers scream along to date. It's sick chorus of "Come On! Come On!" before Blillie declares "I've done my division; trash into trash equals trash flavored trash!" is totally amazing. 

"Love Rhymes with Hideous Car Accident" is the most sadistic  pop song I have ever heard. Probably because it's Blood Brothers Pop. Throwing together sinister chords, several of the band's classic time signature stylings, a mocking chorus, and verses comparing boys to cars that can be "traded in for better models," The Blood Brothers challenge what punk should sound like. 

"Peacock Skeleton with Crooked Feathers" is a strange jazzy tune with weird guitar pieces, breakdowns, and totally (as of right now) undecipherable lyrical meanings. "Teen Heat" is a smart-bomb of a song that has Blillie declaring he'll tell us "About the First Passion of the Apocalypse" before busting into start stop sing alongs laden with random experimentation and screaming. "Rats and Rats and Rats for Candy" is a funk tune that switches between heavy periods of bombast to quiet little pieces of rock and grotesque imagery (though this is true of all the songs). 

"Crimes" is a punk ballad that might take a few listens to truly appreciate, but is well worth it when you do. 

"My First Kiss at the Public Execution" is every bit as taunting, sinister, and wicked as the title suggests. It will change your pre-conceived concepts of how people can relate to love nowadays. 

"Live fit the Apocalypse Cabaret" is a highlight that rambles with crazy pseudo-jazz riffs and piano. "Beautiful Horses" is more old-school Blood Brothers and another great track. 

"Wolf Party" swirls in with void soundscapes and start-stop drum beats before metamorphing into a start-stop rant before our astonished ears.

"Celebrator" is a bouncy little jaunt closed by the blood shaking "Destroyer." 

After their previous endeavors, I didn't expect the amazing album known as Crimes. It is a work of noisy non-conformist art, and one that will scare any and all pretenders throwing out their factory made pop-punk crap bands as legitimate and talented. To quote the "Artist of the Month" review of Burn Piano Island, Burn written by antiMUSIC editor Keavin Wiggins in the middle of last year: "These guys are the real deal; not the pop-punk poster boys shamelessly being hung by your little sister in her room." Truer words have never been spoken, and the only crime is that a band as talented as this will probably be forgotten in musical lore simply because they do things much differently then their more main-stream competitors. Regardless, this album is a stunning CD that must be thought deeply over to be truly understood.

More Info 

The Blood Brothers - Crimes
Track Listing:
1. Feed me to the Forest
2. Trash flavored trash
3. Love rhymes with hideous car wreck
4. Peacock skeleton with crooked feathers
5. Teen Heat
6. Rats and Rats and Rats for Candy
7. Crimes
8. My First Kiss at the Public Execution
9. Live Fit the Apocalypse Cabaret
10. Beautiful Horses
11. Wolf Party
12. Celebrator
13. Destroyer

Visit the band's homepage to learn more

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