Screaming Is Free


The Blood Brothers are guaranteed to clear a dancefloor. And they should be guaranteed to clear your skin via Dr. Z’s acid-blister method, too, but that process is trademarked (or should be anyhow; have you seen the results this guy gets? Probably, if you ride the subway).

The Blood Brothers have already finished recording their next album, which Ross Robinson produced. Ross Robinson is no skunk, either—he’s done such well-known bands as Korn and At the Drive In and Money for Nothing (they were big in the ’90s). But that’s their next album, and is for them to know and you to find out. Their current album is not their screamy hardcore singles collection, Rumors Laid Waste. Nor is it 2000’s full-length This Adultery Is Ripe. It is March On Electric Children, nine songs in 24:42—a series of numbers that, if you hold this review up to a mirror, will still be the same length! The Blood Brothers can be compared to the Locust, also a futuraustic screamo band from Seattle, who once squeezed 20 songs into 16:27, one of which was called “The Half Eaten Sausage Would Like to See You in the Office.” (No, wait . . . that one was on a different record.)

The best and least typical song on Electric Children is “American Vultures,” but the best-titled song is “Junkyard J. vs. the Skin Army Girlz/High Fives, LA Hives,” which includes the line “Youth decays in 4/4 time.” You have to read the lyric sheet to know this, due to how Jordan Blilie or Johnny Whitney (or both?) scream it. The two vocalists don’t do anything but vocalize, except when Johnny plays the piano. “American Vultures” starts off with what sounds like random bashing on said piano and the boys shrieking, high and shredded (as opposed to low and barfy), “ONE . . . TWO . . . THREE . . . FOUR.” They are counting down to a jaunty keyboard part and raspily intoned melody. These break into a hearty sing-along chorus: “You’re married to the vultures/Ba, ba, ba-ba-da awwww-haw, yeah!” First of its kind: screamo barrelhouse lounge ballad.

The other songs here sound like At the Drive In if At the Drive In were getting f—ed in the a— while trying to play. That is, the Blood Brothers play faster (I’d rush, too) and even more noisily off-kilter, but with the same sort of twists and turns. Often one instrument is twisting when another instrument is turning. I noticed this when they played North Six a couple weeks ago. But they are not imitating At the Drive In—or, at least, not any more than they’re imitating the Locust, Sleepytime Trio, or RZA. And who can blame them, seeing as how the Rolling Stones are imitating the Rolling Stones and Prince is imitating some stupid shit.

If this is the sound of youth decaying, then stick a dead teenager in my ear!