"Like Blood for Music" (Fiskum and Humber Sound; 2017)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

"Like Blood for Music," by Black Bluebirds would fit nicely among alternative-sounding albums by the likes of Peter Gabriel or David Byrne and the Talking Heads. It's not nearly as quirky as those artists, but it's close, and the haunting style of the songwriting, vocals and musicianship make for some truly interesting listening.

The CD starts out with a killer track, "Love Kills Slowly," with its sharp guitar riff and addictive chorus. "Strange Attractor" is up next and it's another solid tune, offering a unique combination of male/female vocals and a driving beat. Then track three comes along and, whoa, it almost sounds like a whole new band at work. "Life in White" is as different from the previous songs as it can get with interesting, raw vocals that enhance the song's storytelling. And the album continues that way, for the most part, delivering solid tracks with slower tracks interspersed here and there, all of them with just a little weirdness sprinkled in for good measure. And then there's "Don't Fall in Love," which sounds a little like (I'm not making this up) ... Bruce Springsteen!

There are tracks that are too slow for my taste ("Hole in the Day") and the album tends to peter out in the last few tracks but, overall, I really like the fresh and different sound that Blue Blackbirds have put together here. It's this kind of unique rock'n'roll that might be the saving grace for the entire genre. You gotta love their website, which pulls up a page that reads: "Rock Isn't Dead. It isn't even sick. Minnaepolis saves the day. Black Bluebirds."

Black Bluebirds: Daniel Fiskum - vocals/keyboards; Simon Husbands - vocals/guitars; Chad Helmonds - drums/bass. Featuring Jessica Rasche - backup vocals; Patrik Tanner - additional guitars.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.


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Copyright 2018 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.