Review Summary: In which The Blood Brothers strangness strengthen them
After releasing their debut This Adultery is Ripe
, The Blood Brothers
started their long journey of conquering the American underground music scene. In 2002, they released their follow up full-length March On Electric Children
, a short concept album dealing with themes of greed, lust, and artificial beauty.
features a very prominent industrial tone and style when compared to This Adultery
; Cody Volato's guitar riffs are much more chaotic and unapologetic than ever, spewing disjointed notes and staccato riffs left to right. Vocalists Johnny Whitey and Jordan Billie have also changed up their sounds a bit. Here, Johnny developed a very shrill and hard-to-listen-to vocal style and Jordan now starts to sing with his cool, shaky tone. Both of these unique vocal styles were not present on previous Blood Brothers releases.
One of the best momments on the entire 25-minute LP would have to be "Kiss of the Octopus". This track has it all, catchy bass, drum sampling, and lyrics that makes your head spin in complete confusion. The track talks about a cult ritual, and a very grotesque one at that, detailing winged octopi that deliver a drug-like serum that grants immortality. That's one thing March On
does right: The imagry. Who would of guess a group of angry 20-year-olds could make vivid and detailed descriptions while screaming their heads off?
However, the biggest drawback on the entire album would have to be the mixing. On their early records, The Blood Brother's attempted a "broken" approach to the mixing, with the guitars and bass panned to different sides of the ears and some instruments being louder/quieter than others. It really does affect the music overall, for example, we'll go back to "Kiss of the Octopus": During the chorus, the guitars are panned to the listener's right ear, which ultimately makes less of a punch when it kicks in. Infact, The Blood Brothers would not fully master this technique until their 2003 record Burn, Piano Island, Burn
Even with it's drawbacks with mixing and a few bland tracks here and there, March On Electric Children
is an excellent listen from start to finish. It's weirdness and individuality from other post-hardcore albums at the time gives it a name that's not to be forgotten.