What is the purest form of punk? Punk’s recent mask of sugar coated, catchy tunes have attracted tattoo-covered, extreme hair-dyed, Converse-wearing hoards.
The current underground punk bands and their loyal fans attempt to successfully promote the music without leading it to the cemetery of trendiness.
However, the Seattle-based Blood Brothers and their newest album, “Burn Piano Island, Burn,” introduce an extraordinary and raw punk that defies modern sounds.
The band includes vocalist Jordan Billie, vocalist and guitarist Johnny Whitney, guitarist and pianist Cody Votolato, bassist and pianist Morgan Henderson and drummer Mark Gajadhar.
The band has had a strong presence in the underground scene since 1997 and this album explodes with high-strung instrumentals and dysfunctional poetic lyrics.
Since some punk bands have had a reputation of selling out to the mainstream, the Blood Brothers signed on to Artist Direct Records on one condition, “to make music 100 percent their way,” according to a press release.
The UK single “Ambulance Vs. Ambulance” screams, “The ambulance angels pull up to your doorstep the sirens flash emergency, `you’d better come quick.’ The ambulance angels pull up to the graveyard, and leave you there bubbling broken sonnets and shards.”
The 37-second introduction, “Guitarmy,” allows the listener to briefly observe what lies ahead in the album. Such lyrics as, “Do you remember us? We doused your TV set with propane, turned up the gain! The party’s dying, so guitar – me!,” keeps the listener impatiently waiting to hear the next track.
While the overwhelming force of the Blood Brothers’ sound may give some people an unbearable headache, the band offers the average adolescent punker rebellion against the norm.
The track “Burn, Piano Island, Burn” pours out, “Boiling lagoons chewing bubble gum pink? The vikatin volcano spews and salivates? I fed its limp indifferent walls tales of an ark haunted with the five howls, I tried a nervous noose of piano wire and wrapped it around the mocking throat of the past.”
“Every Breath Is a Bomb” generates a clear image, “This room is a fluorescent tomb. He pulls on her wires, she jerks to attention, she’s animated again, she’s talking to a hypodermic reflection.”
The last track, “The Shame,” states “My heart is a black haunted loom, weaving jackets for children who will never be born. My hands are abandoned factories manufacturing heartbreak and hate for the world. As we waltz the broken dance of our limbs this, ballroom has been groped by so many evil whims.”
By creating a distinct style and allowing mixed messages to formulate into a single context, the album is unique.
The Blood Brothers definitely are the leaders of their own chaotic revolution; a revolution strong enough to spread.
“Burn, Piano Island, Burn” is currently in stores.