The Blood Brothers
...Burn, Piano Island, Burn


5.0
classic

Review

by Joe Denby USER (17 Reviews)
February 14th, 2010 | 38 replies


Release Date: 2003 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The Blood Brother's twisted, fully developed masterstroke.

I know, I've taken that leap and called this album a classic, but through The Blood Brothers consistently shifting but always well executed discography (disregarding Rumours Laid Waste), Burn, Piano Island, Burn marks the sweet spot. They retain the oft flexed sheer aggression of This Adultery is Ripe without being as limited, the soft, indie-esque roots that would come to prevail in Crimes and an imagination and focus that reminds us why they hold a niche in post-hardcore, flawlessly sewn into the album's hybrid of genre and influence.

Johnny and Jordan's interplay is at its peak, before Jordan's role became understated in favour of Johnny's characteristic high pitch, from rapidly gabbling metaphoric ambiguities in USA Nails to the sorrowful, epic climax that is the end of The Shame, they rapidly fluctuate between shrill, piercing screams and their own independent singing styles, whilst always working as a duet. Critiquing their vocals as “gimmicky” is just a pessimistic way of dissenting their uniqueness. Lyrically, as always, the two excel. Shrouded in heavy imagery and poetic symbolism, the two's wordplay is as indecipherable to the issue as it is genius, each song holding its own dark, twisted and ofttimes downright zany identity:

murder = white out.
cancer = birth blouse.
mirror = perfect glass spouse.
oil = sex paint.
shower = water saint.
Death decodes the howls from our hands.
skull = noise nest.
TV = *** test.
mirror = siamese gun kiss.
sugar = birth bait.
murder = loves fate.
death distils the camouflage from our dance.

This individuality is conveyed just as much musically. Easily their most diverse work yet, The Blood Brothers still contain the frantic, unrestrained hardcore that made their first records such a high calibre, but now they push slower, more controlled portions into the frenzy, drawing a stark contrast and making each section more powerful then as a stand alone portion e.g. Jordan's measured murmurs halfway through Six Nightmares at the Pinball Masquerade, avoiding the verging on repetitiveness of some of their earlier work. Indeed, from the moment you hear the jumpy, sharp tone of Votalato in ***ing's Greatest Hits, you know this is a far cry from their previous grimy hardcore.

End to end, Votalato and Henderson's guitar and bass teaming is a wider, more complex experience. The bass still retains an integral component in the play, without becoming as overpowering as previously, witnessable especially in the title track, funky bass overlays leading into calming, plucked chords in the refrain. Votalato's screechy, manic guitar is a team player, rarely taking the lead but always adding to the overwhelming chaos of the song. The real surprise here for me though, rarely noted in this album's achievements, is the drum work of Mark Gajadhar. Never over reaching or sophisticated but none the less powerful, the drums haphazard, off tempo rhythm distorts otherwise uniform song structure into the panicked, harrowing rush that many songs descend into.

Throughout this, there's probably rife favouritism and no doubt there'll be disagreement over the acclaim I award this album, but The Blood Brothers held a personal energy and uniqueness on Burn, Piano Island, Burn that remains unreplicated. Jordan's voice, quivering with trepidation, painting dark nightmares as Johnny screams his zany imagination into the mishmash of perfect instrumentation, like a battle in a schizophrenic's head, a relentless tirade against anything and everything whilst maintaining the composure to be focused and subtly diverse musicians in each personal, distinguishing track.

Everything is going to be just awful when we're around.
All the colors gonna rot off your sight when we're around.
I am just a salesman pleased to meet you can I show you around.
Every thing must go the shadows the seagulls when we're around.
This is our shame.




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Comments:Add a Comment 
DirEnRefused
February 14th 2010


2241 Comments


My first classic review, hope I did the album justice.

robin
Emeritus
February 14th 2010


4261 Comments


i do too, well done.

PirateSquid
February 14th 2010


1881 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Good, a not-shitty 5 review for this album.
Pos

Beauville88
February 14th 2010


226 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Although this review is a little too jumbled, you do a good job of hammering home what you enjoy.

Good job. I look forward to more!

SeaAnemone
February 14th 2010


20937 Comments


I really like this review... album hasn't quite sunk in yet, personally. I have to say I don't enjoy it all that much, but that's very tentative.

Digging: Viet Cong - Viet Cong

iarescientists
February 14th 2010


5863 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

i was thinking about reviewing this

sigh

johnny whitney is god

asaf
February 14th 2010


888 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

solid album. good work.

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
February 14th 2010


17944 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

the shame is probably the best closer ever

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
February 14th 2010


17944 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

besides giant swan

AggravatedYeti
February 14th 2010


7685 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

the shame is probably the best closer ever

this

review is boss.

sniper
February 14th 2010


19080 Comments


Great review. Album rips.

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
February 14th 2010


17944 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

giant swan is amazing that's what my deal is

DirEnRefused
February 14th 2010


2241 Comments


Thanks for the compliments.

Devastator is also a brilliant finisher.

jagride
February 14th 2010


2379 Comments


Not a 5, at all

iarescientists
February 14th 2010


5863 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

all the girl's you wished you fucked

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
February 14th 2010


17944 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

girls*

iarescientists
February 14th 2010


5863 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

to be a ghost
a relic
an appiration
a figment of the imagination
to haunt the halls
to walk through walls
to disappear
never to be seen again

Lucid
Contributing Reviewer
February 14th 2010


7026 Comments


bulimic rainbows vomit what

DirEnRefused
February 14th 2010


2241 Comments


Besides Daryl Palumbo, my favourite lyricists.



mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
February 14th 2010


17944 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

they're definitely up there yeah, as far as imagery goes they're basically unparalleled



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