The underground music scene is a dangerous place to be:
relentless critics, unforgiving fans and a serious lack of cash and
promiscuous sex. When most indie bands break through onto a major
label, their sound drastically changes and their fans desert them;
but not the Seattle quintet The Blood Brothers. The band is
currently tearing across America to promote its fourth full-length
album, Crimes, bringing the tour to Detroit’s Magic Stick

Eston Bond
Yeah, we are all related. (Courtesy of V2)

Since signing to V2, The Blood Brothers have slightly changed
their sound, but continued their aural onslaught and brutal
demeanor. Crimes, though released on a major label, is by no means
directed or suitable for the mainstream.

In 2000, The Blood Brothers exploded onto the underground scene
with their debut album The Adultery is Ripe. Influenced by groups
such as Refused, The Adultery is Ripe presented a wholly new
perspective on the hardcore genre. With their piercing vocals and
spastic music, The Blood Brothers were single-handedly changing the
once monotonous hardcore genre. Their second full-length, March On
Electric Children, was much of the same punishing music and sounded
cleaner and better produced than their debut. However, lead singer
Johnny Whitney says, “With March On Electric Children, we
were basically just trying to put a record together.” It
wasn’t until their third album, Burn Piano Island, Burn, that
The Blood Brothers began to draw serious attention from those
outside of the hardcore genre.

On The Blood Brothers third full-length, they once again
reinvented not only themselves but also the hardcore genre. The
inclusion of keyboards and sound manipulation in addition to
continuing their glaring vocals all added to this new vision of
hardcore. On their latest album, they continue the tradition of
reinventing themselves. Crimes takes a more subdued approach but
continues their aggressive attitude. “It’s a bit of a
departure from the completely spastic, all the time on our previous
records,” Whitney says. “I enjoy playing our slower
songs almost more than playing our faster songs. It gives me a
chance to relax and sing, and not just scream all the

Crimes is not only less aggressive than earlier albums, but also
deals with different emotions and feelings. While Whitney says that
the album does not necessarily deal with one certain topic or
personal tribulation, it does reflect his life and the various
experiences the band has encountered. “With this record I
wanted to have songs with different feelings: different tones,
different moods. Have some songs that are really fast and really
short but also have songs that are more minimal.”

Even through the hype and anticipation that Crimes received, The
Blood Brothers stay level-headed and truly appreciate what they
have. Even the artwork on Crimes, mindless doodles juxtaposed
against color prints, shows this maturity. “We wanted to have
a record cover that incorporated images of us in a way that
isn’t super glorifying,” Whitney says. “I feel
very fortunate getting to see the country. I don’t know any
other situation where you would be in a different city every
night.” The Blood Brothers will bring their excitement and
energy with them, tonight delivering another spastic performance in
support of Crimes.

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