Damn you Blood Brothers! How is a guy supposed to review a giant stack of CDs (some of which are really damn good) when all I want to listen to is you. Are you trying to get me fired or something? Hell, I wouldn’t care if you were. After bringing me the gift of Burn Piano Island, Burn!, you can burn my damn house down for all I care. You guys are my favorite band of the moment and this record, your major label debut, is one of the most exciting albums I’ve heard in a very, very long time.
I love it when an album doesn’t hesitate to let you know what’s up. Piano Island opens with “Guitarmy,” which is chaotic enough to rival all other chaotic openers. A barrage of guitar, drums and bass accompanies the frantic duel attack of the band’s two singers: Jordan Blilie and Johnny Whitney. The opening track is a warning; if you can’t handle those two boys screaming bloody murder for nearly 50 minutes, bag Piano Island and go buy yourself a Dashboard Confessional CD, you damn pansy.
It’s not just the first track; the whole album is relentless. It grabs your face and holds you underwater. When it does let up it’s only for a few seconds just to make sure you don’t drown. That’s what makes the Blood Brothers so compelling. They splice moments of pure pop candy into the venom they spit through your speakers. While freaking about how amazing this band was while in a car, my friend Pete looked up at me during “Ambulance vs. Ambulance” and said, “You know what the best thing about this band is? They’re just a little bit fruity.” How right he was. In fact, the underlying feyness is what makes them so brilliant. Songs like “USA Nails” and “Fucking’s Greatest Hits” could come off as macho if sung by any other band. But the fact that the Blood Brothers are completely unwilling to adhere to the lame steakheaded rules of hardcore, and in fact fight against them with shamelessly flamboyant shrieks and yells, makes this release not only good but crucial.
Can I see a band like Blood Brothers conquering the mainstream? Who knows anymore? Good art like this has been suffocated by MTV and Clear Channel-owned music media for years to ensure we all get our weekly dose of Vitamin Creed. But honestly, if there is a god, kids will be burning their Nickelback records and rocking out to this by this time next year. If the White Stripes can do it, then I’m a believer. Here’s to hoping the Blood Brothers can bring their music to all the kids around the world. God knows they really need to hear it.