I suppose it's a sign that I'm a bad reviewer when I say things like "I have no idea why I like this" to friends when I'm talking about certain albums. It's very, very rare when I find myself at a loss for words, but I have to admit that one of those groups that causes me to shake my head is The Blood Brothers. I listen to very little hardcore music and much less punk than I used to and snotty, brash music in general usually finds itself sinking to the bottom of my listening piles but there's something about this group that does it for me.
I think part of the reason that The Blood Brothers simply trip my trigger is how absurdly they push their sound. Sure, they rip out some brutal guitar riffs, but they're backed with some of the craziest vocal histronics that I've ever heard. Imagine a singer doing karoake and trying to approximate the snottiest punk voice possible in trying to win the crown. In addition to the vocals themselves and the start-stop blasting music, the lyrics read like the twisted journal of a hyper teen who is media-saturated to the point of explosion and is simply garbling phrases and buzzwords together like some sort of fucked-up madlib generator.
So yeah, that's basically why I enjoy The Blood Brothers and while I haven't heard much of their music previous to their major label debut of Burn Piano Island Burn, I can say that they haven't really backed off things too much. If anything, they've taken their big recording budget and slapped those guitars even harder. Sure, Crimes slows things down a bit from previous albums, and just because they bust loose with a Rhodes piano solo ("Peacock Skeleton With Crooked Feathers") doesn't mean they've gone soft. Actually, it just means they're playing with dynamics a bit more than in the past, and even when they drag things out like some sort of demented musical sing-along musical ("Live At The Apocalypse Cabaret"), they're so over-the-top that it's at least mildly entertaining.
I actually find it kind of funny that the group has managed to land on a large label with this release, because even though it's a bit more polished sounding than anything they've done before, I simply can't imagine anything on "Crimes" playing on anything other than college radio. "Beautiful Horses" is all blistering call-and-response screamo, but with changing time signatures and f-bombs dropping every other line, it's like so many of their other tracks, hilariously absurd. While the album doesn't work quite as well overall as their last release, it's still a solid entry from the group and proof there's still plenty of room to milk their batshit formula. Sometimes I feel highbrow, and at other times I'll play some Crimes.