Live Music + Gig Reviews

The Blood Brothers @ Monarch, London

3 October 2002

The Blood Brothers

The Blood Brothers

How extreme can music get before it turns into a spazzed out rhythmically challenged mess that is heralded as the Next Big Thing? The Blood Brothers are the answer to a riddle that has probably troubled no one. It is also an answer that is as disturbing as it is enlightening. Whilst garage rock has stealthily taken the UK by storm and shaken up some musical thinking it is hardly the sound of the future.

The Blood Brothers and the like-minded The Dillinger Escape Plan could change people’s perception as to the kind of noises that guitars can make. The Blood Brothers are doing to guitars what Squarepusher has done to electronica. And that is to so totally fuck with the basic components of their art that it is beyond recognition; almost like a burnt out corpse with no discernible features but their charred teeth.

The Blood Brothers are, according to some, the new At The Drive-In. Admittedly they are a young five-piece who have found themselves plucked from the punk rock obscurity by a major label deal and a Ross Robinson production on their forthcoming new album. This is just superficial because The Blood Brothers couldn’t sound any more different.

The crowd is smaller than expected at The Blood Brothers’ first London show but the excitement and anticipation hangs palpably in the sweat and booze drenched air. When they finally walk onto the stage they do not look like the people who could be responsible for a record as intense or visceral as their March on Electric Children. With just one guitar, a bass, some drums and two vocalists The Blood Brothers certainly make an extremely loud glitch laden racket. In fact it is a very odd sight seeing the ultra camp twin-vocal attack of Jordan Billie and Johnny Whitney screaming their way through the chaotic likes of Jennifer and At The Waterfront.

They strain their tight T-shirts and too tight trousers dancing lewdly around as they tear their throats apart spewing forth misanthropic incantations and viciously surreal ranting. These two voices weave in and out sometimes-becoming one, at other times just another part of this dissonant jigsaw. But it brings out goose bumps; the hairs on my neck stand to attention. I feel my body being filled with a strange delirious thrill. But it is not just me feeling this because others around me start to respond to the music in their own odd little ways some bop their heads, some let loose and dance whilst others whoop and holler involuntarily.

The Blood Brothers are battling through the mediocrity that surrounds them in the most barbarous way that is possible. And that is to mow it all down with this conceptual extreme noise terror. The Blood Brothers making a first strike. You’re either with us or against us…

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