Review Summary: Blood For Blood's best and unfortunately, final, album.
Hailing from Charlestown, Massachusetts, Blood For Blood was founded in 1995 and immediately started writing some very angry music and playing host to some of the craziest live show the Boston scene ever saw. They soon had carved their niche in the Boston hardcore scene with their nihilistic and jaded views on the world from growing up on the streets and then were signed to Victory Records (back when they had some semblance of self-respect.) They released three albums for Victory before breaking up, with their fourth, Outlaw Anthems
released shortly thereafter. Everyone thought that they were finished for good, but they got back together in 2004 and signed to Thorp Records (home of guitarist/singer Rob Lind's brother's band The Ducky Boys) to release one last hate fueled album, Serenity
and a great album it is.
The music is straight up punk influenced hardcore, so that means that the album shall be neither varied nor long, as is hardcore law. The album is very short, as in seventeen minutes, and spread over nine tracks. In fact, only one song, the standout Hanging on the Corner
, stretches longer than three minutes. But what is there is a pack of short outbursts for songs that pack quite the punch. The lyrics revolve around the tough life on the streets, which comes as no surprise if you are a fan of Blood For Blood and hardcore in general. The vocals are a mix of shouting and rough singing passages, both are nothing special but they are both good for the given genre. The instrumental are also not anything amazing as it is mostly power chords, but when put together it actually does sounds somehow above most other hardcore.
A few songs are decidedly better than the rest. My Jesus Mercy
is a dark, heavy track about a friend who killed himself when he felt he had nothing left to lose from his life on the streets, and Hanging on the Corner
is very well put together and contains a very catchy chorus and well-placed gang vocals. The last standout track is their cover of Del Shannon's 1961 number one hit Runaway
. At first it seems a little out of place, but the lyrics in actuality make sense, and in keeping with the general down style of the album, Del Shannon killed himself in 1990.
This album by no means was intended to re-write hardcore (good luck with that one,) nor to offer really anything new. Its intention was to offer both a fitting end to the Blood For Blood "legacy" and to put together some well-written songs, which it one hundred percent accomplished. This is a must have for hardcore fans and also will please some metal circles as well. In short, this is a very well put together hardcore album reminiscent of the dirty days of hardcore, which seems to have fallen wayward recently. Rest in peace Blood For Blood, hardcore will miss you.