"Burn Piano Island, Burn" (ArtistDirect / I Am; 2003)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

Needless to say I wasn't caught off-guard by The Blood Brothers' major label debut "Burn Piano Island, Burn" since I was fortunate to recently hear and critique their previous full-length "March On Electric Children." The Blood Brothers' blend of chaos and electro-shock therapy mayhem hasn't changed too much from their independent label status to major label comforts.

If anything "Burn Piano Island, Burn" features more of an ambient feel in the disc's adornments. The dissonance found on "March On Electric Children" is a bit tempered on "Burn Piano Island, Burn" but there are still plenty of wild musical moments jutting out like outstretched pieces of twisted metal from some horrific traffic accident. I noticed the songs are a bit longer than usual - I can only guess that the band is paying a bit more attention to trying to fully realize each song's unique character. Or it could be a factor of the producer's influence in the sessions for "Burn Piano Island, Burn" as there is a bit more build-up to the songs' drama quotient rather than the scattershot approach heard in "March On Electric Children."

The album's song titles alone are worth the price of curiosity. I'll provide one example to pique your interest: "Six Nightmares At The Pinball Arcade."

Since I got the advance copy of the CD without the artwork I was a bit disappointed - I liked the artwork for "March On Electric Children" so much as was actually looking forward to the artwork for this album. Still, given the band's impressive artwork on "March On Electric Children" I'm pretty confident that you're going to get your money's worth when considering the artwork for "Burn Piano Island, Burn" on top of the band's splattered musical menagerie.

Personally, I like my hard music with a little more focus and precision than The Blood Brothers will ever offer. At the very least "Burn Piano Island, Burn" is an entertaining experience much in the same way a trip to an amusement park is a smorgasbord of physical endeavors, tasty treats, and a barrage of flashing lights and relentless carnival music.

"Burn Piano Island, Burn" was produced by Ross Robinson. Ross Robinson manages to add to The Blood Brothers' clarity without restraining the band's chaotic intensity and messy charm.

The Blood Brothers are Jordan Blilie and Johnny Whitney on vocals, Cody Votolato on guitar, Morgan Henderson on bass, and Mark Gajadhar on drums.

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"Burn Piano Island, Burn" (ArtistDirect / I Am; 2003)

Reviewed by Snidermann

In a word, The Blood Brothers and their "Burn Piano Island, Burn" are total fucking chaos. It's like listening to a music store caught in a tornado that's being blasted through a mile-high wall of Marshall amps. 

The music of The Blood Brothers explodes from the very beginning and rages on through, leaving you breathless when the CD reaches its end. It never lets up for a second. This shit is entirely original, more than a little weird, and way off center - I think that's why I like it so much. 

Trust me - you've probably never heard anything like The Blood Brothers. They're explosive, unpredictable and totally outrageous. If you're looking for something new, look no further.

The Blood Brothers are Jordan Blilie and Johnny Whitney on vocals, Cody Votolato on guitar, Morgan Henderson on bass, and Mark Gajadhar on drums.

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"March on Electric Children" (Three.One.G; 2002)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

The Blood Brothers are Northwest-based electrified hardrock/punk upstarts who have previously released a slew of singles and two full-lengths. "March On Electric Children" is The Blood Brothers' third full-length (obviously) and it is chock full of abrasive shards of hardcore angular riffing, bouncy punk rhythms, hyperactive bass and drums, and whacked out vocals.

Right off the bat, I must tell you that The Blood Brothers isn't a band that will find its way back into my rotation - their style isn't my bag at all. But, at the very least, my mind has been expanded by The Blood Brothers' controlled chaos.

My first attempt to listen to "March On Electric Children" was aborted about halfway through the fourth song. And it had nothing to do with my preference for anything but the style I was hearing. I simply wasn't prepared to take in everything that The Blood Brothers were trying to get across (and I'm not quite sure even now what they're trying to say with their music).

Wavering between excitable punk and mid-tempo hardcore The Blood Brothers utilize a scattershot approach to paint surreal vignettes of what surely must be William S. Burroughs inspired madness. The guitars and bass squeal and scratch their way through the crazed insanity while the drumming underneath almost always seems on the verge of collapse without ever losing rhythm. The dual vocalists make the affair all the more interesting as the vocals practically have a strobe-like effect it all happens so quickly you don't know if you're listening to two vocalists or one vocalist assisted by studio trickery.

At times dissonant (the bizarre piano/choral piece at the end of the disc will bend your ear into a new shape) and at times straightforward, The Blood Brothers will keep you on your toes at all times.

The nine tracks blur by in under 25 minutes which, I suppose, would keep both punk and hardcore camps happy. However, "March On Electric Children" is no less limited due to its length. It could have been 12 minutes long and you'd still walk away with the same impression of the band. Overall, the band leans more in the classic punk style rather than the typical hardcore sound, but the bottom line is that neither style takes precedent over the other.

"March On Electric Children" features killer artwork that reminds me of what would happen if you crossbred the artwork for Warrior Soul's "Last Decade Dead Century" with the artwork for U2's "Zooropa" it sounds crazy, but you'd believe it when you saw it.

The Blood Brothers are Jordan Blilie and Johnny Whitney on vocals, Cody Votolato on guitar, Morgan Henderson on bass, and Mark Gajadhar on drums.

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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 2003 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 22 May 2018 02:00:59 -0400 .