Review Summary: As Johnny Whitney sings in the closing track “Devastator”, “Everybody needs a little devastation”, so let this be yours.
People are pretty fu
cking crazy. I’ve known this for quite a while, but living in my little sheltered suburban paradise I’d forgotten it. A couple weeks ago, my family decided we were all going to go to New York City and I thought it’d be a nice little cultural experience to see all the whackos that hang out there.
Mission accomplished. There certainly weren’t as much as I would have hoped, but the few I did see satisfied my cravings. The most blatantly crazy person was a fellow walking through Times Square wearing shirts proclaiming his love for Jesus. Overly religious people are always good for a laugh of course, though it does make you feel guilty. Though, there were the guiltlessly laughable crowd at the Today Show the next morning who would freak out to be on TV for less than a second in a sweeping camera shot, and of course the woman who would yell at Matt Lauer while he was outside doing a story, and freak out when he looked her way to tell her to shut up. However, there are those crazy people that hit way too close to home, basically because they live in your home. Of course, I’m talking about my sister who felt the need to purchase 5 bootlegged purses for the price she could have gotten one legitimate one.
Though NYC pales in comparison to the mental asylum that must be a Blood Brothers recording session. The first thing noticeably crazy about the band is, of course, the names. Not only is their band name crazy, but the track names as well. It’s hard to not be enticed by an album including tracks with names such as “Rats and Rats and Rats for Candy” and “My First Kiss at the Public Execution”.
Then, once you start listening it’s hard not to take considerable notice of the two vocalists. Now, it’s not the fact there are two vocalists in the band supposing that most post-hardcore bands do usually have a lead vocalist and a backup one, though this backup is usually the guitarist. Not with the Blood Brothers though. Both vocalists Jordan Blilie and Johnny Whitney are specifically vocalists giving them the ability to put more passion into their singing/screaming.
The contrast between the two voices is always fun to listen to. Whitney has a very high and chaotic voice that leads me to believe he has been castrated, and though I often find high voices a bit grating, I happen to like his voice as it’s in a just about perfect pitch, especially in “Love Rhymes With Hideous Car Wreck” where his repetitious proclamation of “Love” is so terribly catchy its hard not, at least attempt to sing like him. On the contrary, Blilie’s voice is often a cool, collective, deeper voice, when he’s not screaming along with Whitney.
The lyrics proclaimed by these vocalists are better than it would seem. Listening to the two, it’s pretty hard to decipher what’s being said, but a look at the lyrics is really quite shocking. One of my favorite things about these guys is their ability to make a decent metaphor out of a completely obscene thought. For example, in “Crimes” where Blilie sings “And we're just like those condom wrappers, used up, torn up, thrown away”. “Rats and Rats and Rats for Candy” is quite the interesting song plot-wise. It’s told from three different points of view, telling the story of a lusty girl named Candy who ends up getting eaten by rats. Not exactly a song you’d expect to be singing along too, but when Whitney screams “We need a vacancy” it’s hard not to scream yourself.
Just like the vocalists, the instrumentation is often chaotic while maintaining a very catchy quality as well. There are also plenty of catchy guitar riffs to be found such as the aforementioned “Love Rhymes With Hideous Car Wreck” and the pre-chorus to “Rats and Rats and Rats for Candy”. Also the sad little riff played at the end “Live at the Apocalypse Cabaret” sets up nicely for the chaos driven “Beautiful Horses”. There isn’t much bass to be heard on the album, though there are some noticeable riffs on the two closing tracks. And the drums always seem to keep up to par with the fast tempo demanded by the rest of the band, though he really never shows off himself.
So, if you like drinking excessive amounts of caffeine, various obscene thoughts, and chaos, this album is for you. Even if you don’t like any of things, at least give the album a try though.