steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

The Blood Brothers

"Burn Piano Island, Burn" CD

ARTISTdirect Records

Genres: hardcore, hardcore metal

band website

Mar 31 - Apr 6 2003

Burn Piano Island, Burn arrived with a crack on its playing surface.  Fortunately, the damage just narrowly avoided the album's data, and the disc's contents - it's very powerful, intense contents I might add - arrived intact.

From Seattle, Washington, The Blood Brothers are a metal-influenced hardcore band with an eye for the extreme.  They've got everything down pat - the growling, scratched-up vocals, the stop/start rhythms, the volatile guitar energy, and a clean but uncompromising recording style that very few hc albums boast.  While the main focus here is on the raucous, explosive outbursts of guitar-busting noise, Burn Piano Island, Burn also has quite a bit of variety.  The Blood Brothers love to take things slow for a bit every now and again, only to blow their false calmness to smithereens with a sudden riot of drums, guitars, and screeching vocals.

Look no further than "The Salesman, Denver Max" for evidence.  Starting off with an almost-cutesy guitar pattern, the first foreshadowing of things to come is the singer's raspy, strained singing.  But this is no real warning for the sudden onslaught of noise which follows.  Kablamo!  Armageddon hits.  And once this destructive explosion is finished, we're treated to another little calm bit, which is dashed to pieces shortly thereafter.  And so on and so forth.  Burn Piano Island, Burn is fucking merciless.

Other tracks just go strait for the guttural, so to speak, and don't even bother with any calm bits.  Tracks like "Fucking's Greatest Hits" and "USA Nails" explode upon impact, whereas the reggae-tinged "Every Breath Is A Bomb" mixes their hardcore soundwave storm with a deliciously funky sound.

The twelve-track Burn Piano Island, Burn closes with "The Shame," which  could be the album's most impressive track.  Starting off with the singer's signature, somewhat Royal Trux-esque vocals, it spends a minute in pseudo-pop territory, before breaking down into a few slow keyboard chords.  These drift on a bit until they are suddenly set on fire by a neck-slitting onslaught of screamo noise.  Eventually, it slows down, back into a melancholy rock groove.  It then slowly proceeds to build up and up like a roller coaster about to go over the edge, gradually picking up power, accumulating energy - until...


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 11 songs, distributed by Insound, released 2002]