I don't even know where to begin. The Blood Brothers are one of the hardest bands to describe out there right now. The terms 'avant-hardcore' and 'artsy hardcore' are thrown around a great deal, but they don't even begin to describe what the Blood Brothers are doing. Dual vocals that stand out more than any other vocalist(s) I have ever heard. Johnny Whitney's high pitched school boy voice and relentless screaming combined with Jordan Billie's lower pitched, incredibly unique voice, both combining to have more sass than you could possibly know what to do with. Cody Votolato's noisy guitar is reminiscent of At the Drive In, but less melodic sounding and seemingly much more random. The bass, drums, and keyboards are all great, and all come to compliment Cody's guitar and the dual vocals, which are the two stand out features of this band. The lyrical content is simply amazing. The imagery and creativity found in the lyrics is like nothing else I've ever heard before. Songs like 'Ambulance vs. Ambulance', 'USA NAILS', and 'God Bless You, Blood Thirsty Zeppelins!', are the stand out tracks, but one track seems to stand above the rest in my eyes, that being 'Cecilia and the Silhouette Saloon'. Imagine the snobby attitudes of an indie band, the energy of a hardcore band, the flamboyance of Queen, ATDIesque guitar work, and the style all the hipsters crave coming together into a chaotic sound with more artistry than the Louvre. I'm giving this album a 9, I want to give it a 10 SO badly, but there are just a few small things that bring it down a tad bit, and I'm not about to round up.
I've never been insane, but if I were, I think this is what my thoughts would sound like. Although, that would require me to be one of those genius crazy people...but that great thing is that I'm pretty sure all five members of the blood brothers aren't crazy, but just genius. The music can be described as two babies fighting in a blender soundtracked by demons on acid and heroin simultaneously. I was forced to make up such a silly description of the music, because they don't really sound like any other bands besides themselves. This album has been getting so much hype from everybody to local newspaper in Seattle (their hometown) to New York Times. Luckily for them, this album lives up this hype. The songs go from hissyfits of shrill screams to "melodic" breakdowns with keyboards and glockenspiels. Besides the music, my other favorite part about this album is the lyrics. The imagery that they create in my head is like a portrait made of blood and hair. It's very beautiful and creepy at the same time. There is nothing that I do not like about this CD.
A year and a half ago, I picked up this band's first full-length CD, This Adultery Is Ripe. and brought it with me through Italy that summer. The urban centers seemed like a perfect backdrop for the music. The uncomfortable humidity, overflowing materialism and excessive amount of skin all embody the Blood Brothers' sound.
Burn Piano Island, Burn is the Blood Brothers' third full-length release and although their style has changed considerably, I still get the same unnerved feeling when listening to them. Everyone was shocked when The Blood Brothers signed with the father of "nu-metal", Ross Robinson, but the major label production and budget has only made the band's sound more exciting and disquieting. The sonic ambush in Burn Piano Island, Burn is a slap in the face for all the anti-major-label hardcore purists.
And the Blood Brothers haven't forgotten their frantic hardcore roots. They have embellished them. Burn Piano Island, Burn is brutal and earsplitting yet, disturbingly sexual and feminine. The vocals are more polished; Jordan Blilie and Johnny Whitney work off each other's voices creating piercing layers of shrieks, and dynamic mellower parts, reminiscent of that Queen/Bowie collaboration (hmm..). The band truly takes advantage of having two singers. The instrumentation is also refreshingly original. Cody Votolato's guitar playing is minimal and almost acts another voice in the madness. The drums and bass keep things moving, make the tempo-changes unexpected and fill in any potential emptiness, without ever being overdone. Keyboards, acoustic guitar and pianos are also scattered across the CD, but (thankfully) only at the right moments.
Lyrically, the songs on the album stand alone as sordid fairytales featuring characters you wouldn't let your children near and images that could make anyone shiver. Yet, the songs all fit together to weave some kind of surreal tapestry dripping with social decay and moral corruption.
When you finish listening to Burn Piano Island, Burn you'll be left with that same feeling you get when closing a William S. Burroughs novel, or switching off a David Lynch film. You'll be frightened, confused, shaken' and begging for more.
9.333333333333333333333333333 / 10
Reviewed by 3 writers.
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