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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Deranged brilliance, 15 Jun 2003
This review is from: Burn Piano Island, Burn (Audio CD)
It seems strange that the Blood Brothers are being touted as the "next big thing" in emo-punk, following on from where Finch, Jimmy Eat World and Hundred Reasons left off. However, after the first atonal blasts and gut-renching screams of "Guitarmy" kick in, you're left wondering how something this complex, vicious and challenging could possibly appeal to a public who seem to consider Fred Durst and Chad Kroeger (Nickelback) the most dangerous and exciting "musicians" around right now.
I don't think any review can do justice to "Burn Piano Island Burn": it's been loosely lumped into the "emo \ screamo \ post-hardcore" sub-genres, yet everything from jazz to classical music, from punk to folk, to absolute white noise meltdown enters into this astonishing album's 12 tracks.
After the 50 second suckerpunch of "Guitarmy", "F*cking's Greatest Hits" explodes with a bouncy, punky riff and some quite frankly deranged lyrics. One of the main focal points of the Blood Brothers - and an aspect that separates them from the majority of love-lorn emo bands - is the morbid, off-kilter poetry of their lyrics. One particular case is the awesome "USA Nails", which seems to focus on an unsettling conversation between a prison inmate and a disturbed operator, who for whatever reason he phones on his last call: "Listen, can you hear them taking me away, don't tell the f*cking guards what I've said, Can you see the angels stringing wires through my face"
The most obviously commercial song on "Burn Piano Island" has to be "Ambulance vs. Ambulance", a frightening story of warring Ambulance gangs competing to kidnap as many patients as possible, with a killer chorus and nervy glockenspiel chimes thrown in. The more you listen to the album, the more the acid melodies ingrain themselves in your mind - the beautiful monologue amid the chaos of "6 Nightmares at the Pinball Masquerade", the jazz piano breakdown in "Every Breath is a Bomb", and the fabulous final track "The Shame", which builds and builds until it cuts off unexpectedly.
The downsides - some of the tracks have a tendency to try to pack in too much (a problem acknowledged by co-vocalist Jordan Blilie) and certainly "Cecilia and the Silhouette Saloon" turns out a little messy.
Also, the vocal styles won't be for everyone: Blilie's high pitched wailing is perfect for the chaotic punk of the At the Drive-In esque "I know where the canaries and crows go", but seems to jar with the acoustic passages of "The Salesman Denver Max", with Johnny Whitney's sinister rasp taking an unwelcome back seat.
However, don't let that put you off, and don't be too scared on first listen. And if your idea of punk consists solely of "Simple Plan" or "New Found Glory" then you might want to give "Burn Piano Island Burn" a miss. But if you want a record that you'll come back to over and over again and pick up something new every time, then check this out. Now!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars dont judge a book by its cover., 2 May 2004
By 
Mr. M. C. Hood (Bury St Edmunds, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Burn Piano Island, Burn (Audio CD)
there is a fine line between twisted post-modern genius and pretentious art-school nonsense. one look at the song titles on the reverse of this cd would suggest it would fall into the latter. random, semantically redundant collaborations of words and phrases portraying some form of 'abstract-metaphor' that anyone other than the artist just "wouldn't get" prompt images of 'if you need to ask you dont need to know', 'kid A really was radiohead's best album' art punks, with ironic haircuts. the nonsensical cut and paste/my 4 year old cousin could do a better pen and ink drawing than that cover art does little to dispell this image.
how disarming then to nonchalantly place the cd in my stereo and have my philistine ears blasted by the most discordant yet intrinsically beautiful cacaphony since converge's 'petitioning the empty sky'. at first this album lives up to all the conceited expectations. kicking things off with a 40 second blast of post-at the drive-in art-noise, all jittery guitars and fingernails-on-a-blackboard vocals, leaves me wondering whether my hyphen key will make it to the end of the review. but unlike fellow peddlers of high-brow spazzcore the locust, blood brothers sound far too ridiculous to be massaging their own egos with their unique self-indulgent brand of punk. they seem to be having too much fun. this is not, however, ridiculous in a bad way just in the sense that you will never have heard anything like this before. dual vocalists jordan and johnny reject traditional call and response structures coming across as a pair of restless children squabling for the limelight in a sequence of screeching tantrums. anywhere else it would be aural torture but within the confines of their own warped world, perversely, it sounds the most logical medium to vent their musical frustrations. throughout the album guitars switch between jangling rhythms and serrated, spiteful blasts of bittersweet noise and drums fidget and twitch like a nervous cat. yet despite its distracted exterior it is an album which conceals something far more beautiful. amid the off kilter percussion and insane-asylum vocals lay sublimely delicate melodies. the glockenspiel in 'ambulance vs ambulance' or the piano led outro of 'every breath is a bomb' show that beneath the layers of spiky riffs beats a heart of opulent melody. and it is the ability to allow these melodies, no matter how understated, to define and make sense of the confusion of noise that is the blood brothers' true artistic genius.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'oh my god the bombs! the bombs are falling!', 10 Mar 2005
This review is from: Burn Piano Island, Burn (Audio CD)
I could go on at great length that I'd never heard anything as chaotic as this before, and that it's opened my ears to 'noise core' bands such as the Dillinger Escape Plan, but the sheer chaos has been expressed in previous reviews in a manner more eloquent than i'm capable of... so i'll stick to the basics.
the reason i got this was someone said the blood brothers were similar to AFI. in retrospect that's the biggest lie ever, but i was young and impressionable so i bought it. at first i was just shocked at what seemed to be an album with no structure at all. however on repeated listens there ARE structures and even, yes, choruses that will have you humming along.
a good example (and personal favourite) is midpoint track 'celia and the silhouette saloon'. a spooky baritone guitar line sets things up, then suddenly the entire band goes f*cking nuts, with the singers screaming incomprehensibly about death, murder, cancer and other cheerful subjects. After about 40 seconds of this there's some random guitar noise, broken through by a drumbeat that ushers in the next part of the song, with the singers actually singing (one whispering like some kind of twisted priest and the other sounding like a soul singer on acid). This section culminates with the repetition of one phrase, 'where is love now?' as the instruments drop away. eventually the singers are singing without music to back them. they repeat their refrain one last time... and then the band go nuts again.
It's really quite an amazing (and for me, actually very moving) experience... as is every song on this album, whether it's for the delivery, the sheer madness, or the genuinely unhinged lyrics. get it! you won't be disappointed.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Seattle mob release an undisputed post-modern masterpiece., 23 April 2004
By 
Sean (Watford, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Burn Piano Island, Burn (Audio CD)
This is an album that should be heard by anyone and everyone, thrust intothe mainstream so it can rip it's heart out, beating and bloody. Now isthe perfect time for 'Burn, Piano Island, Burn'. In times when mainstreamrock audiences are seemingly looking to the more extreme for kicks, Ross"I started Korn off, but I'm trying to make up for it" Robinson gives ayoung band from Seattle a leg up. They are The Blood Brothers, and they'recoming for your children.
Since a great leap from generic screaming to more authentic anarchy with'March On, Electric Children!', The Blood Brothers have been growing intoan infinitely more promising proposition. And so, the lesson begins. Thealbum start off with the 39-second 'Guitarmy', more a statement of intentthan a song, screaming and yelping, grabbing you by the shirt and rippingthrough your chest. Anyone can fill a song full of random time signaturesand abrasive noise, but few bands can also put every emotion, beautiful orsickening, into their music as well. More believable than The Locust,better than The Dillinger Escape Plan by several miles. You thinkRadiohead's 'Kid A' was the most alienated thing you'd ever heard? Youthought Refused's 'Shape Of Punk To Come' was angry and filled to the brimwith intelligence?
A psychotic cross of every genre imaginable, it all fits togetherperfectly. The Blood Brothers have something up their sleeve, too. Theability to inject their angular brand of punk rock with lyrical wit and(whisper it) pop genius. Of course, the likelihood of the xylophone-toting'Ambulance Vs. Ambulance' (a story of rival ambulance gangs kidnapping andkilling the materialistic) or the just plain disturbing 'USA Nails' (withan absolutely classic chant along of '1-900-USA-N-A-I-L-S OH BABY!') everbeing hit singles is is verging on the impossible, they are undeniablycatchy (in the same way Refused, At The Drive-in and Drive Like Jehu wereall strangely accessible). Best of all is 'The Shame', a final breakdown,the closest sound to a life being crushed by all the burdens society hasplaced on us all that cuts out prematurely. You want more, but it nevercomes. Lyrics are cut up, and spewed out like the best book on theproblems of Western society you've ever read, music is frantic andunhinged, yet some of the best pop songs ever. The Blood Brothers are arare beast, a band placed between a strange sense of commercialacceptability and the ability to do what the hell they please.
'Burn, Piano Island, Burn' is not a personal album. It was not made forthe band themselves. It is a piece of art that The Blood Brothers demandyou hear. This is the kind of car crash that is so hideous, it makes youslow down and stare for a moment. This is a weight we all carry.Overwhelming, essential, and hideously uncomfortable. This is, as theyclaim on the final song, our shame.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How many chords till this song vomits out real love?, 12 Aug 2007
By 
C. J. Wilson - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Burn Piano Island Burn (Audio CD)
This album has been in my collection for a while now, and I've been meaning to write a review about it for some time, I think it's due to actually contemplating what I'm going to write about it. Quite simply this is easily one of the best if not the best cd I have ever purchased in my entire life. It has everything in it's formula, and melds various genres such as punk, emo, noise/spazz core, jazz, folk, classical (you get the point.). The music can be described as at times very chaotic, sometimes making it difficult to identify structure, and any second it would seem like everything is going to just fall apart, but being the tight, cohesive outfit The Blood Brothers is, they pull it back together forcefully. For those who fail to grasp this album upon first listen, fear not because it takes a good few listens to be able to comprehend the majestic beauty of this masterpiece before it finally sinks in. My favourite tracks are probably USA Nails, Six Nightmares At The Pinball Masquerade (with it's frighteningly disprate tone and gorgeous monologue), Every Breath Is A Bomb and album closer The Shame, I could go on and say the entire album is my favourite song but for those who have never heard The Bro's before, I would recommend downloading the above mentioned tracks first to gain a real grasp on the style The Bro's play. Absolutely breath-taking, this album is like a priceless jewel that I hold very close to my heart, It's the background violins playing at a hideous car accident, the sound of finger nails scraping down a chalk board, and the emphasis of disdain in a loveless modern-day world. Get it NOW!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Straight up, in your face, everything!, 4 Jun 2010
By 
L. Morris "Music Enthusiast" (England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Burn Piano Island Burn (Audio CD)
The blood brothers have now split up but I have recently got into this band, in particular this album. Its got so much energy and depth that even if you dont like this particular genre, its worth just experiencing this album. What more can I say, it just stands out in todays musical climate. Its just about the only thing I can hear at the moment.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars NOT the West End musical!, 14 April 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Burn Piano Island, Burn (Audio CD)
Screamo??? isnt that what The Used and all those post-hardcore kids are doing? If you're expecting anything remotely similar to Bert McCracken and co, youre in for one hell of a shock when this album pummels your unsuspecting eardrums.
The Blood Brothers are quite simply a unique band. An arty punk band might be the best description, althought fans of noisecore outfits such as Botch and The Dillinger Escape Plan will no doubt find this lot very intriguing indeed. Vocalists Johnny Whitney and Jordan Billie sound like a pair of jack russell terriers with ADD (not a common comparison is it), while the musical accompinament will keep you dazzled with erratic changes in pace, time signatures and intrumentation (the inspired use of a glockenspiel in "Ambulance vs Ambulance" for example). It may all sound like a complete mess with no tunes at first but after a few listens, hooks and memorable lyrics start cropping up out of nowhere and youll be addicted in no time.
Your parents, however, will HATE this record.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Probably the most mental album in the world, 21 Mar 2003
This review is from: Burn Piano Island, Burn (Audio CD)
You'd think that a band who by turns appear to show the influence of At the Drive-in, Amen, the Coral, Captain Beefheart and Queen would be an unmitigated disaster. Well, think again. The Blood Brothers have come on leaps and bounds since their very good last album and their new effort comes as a complete breath of fresh air compared to so many of the highly derivative guitar bands that are currently on the circuit. This album lurks in the psychotic territory of the Pixies or Eighties Matchbox and demonstrates a similar spirit and wilful perversity as those bands.
Probably the best example of why they're great is Every Breath is a Bomb, their Bohemian Rhapsody, with approximately 5 different songs thrown in, with an uplifting melody and great piano riff reminiscent of the second half of IN/Casino/OUT, combined with their blood-curdling heavy bits which Casey Chaos would be proud of.
The production of Ross Robinson makes their sound a lot clearer and incisive compared to their previous efforts and there's also now a greater contrast between their Dionysian and Appolonian elements. Not only that, but there's also some great call and response vocals, and the final track finishes on a great vocal harmony.
The Blood Brothers are one of those bands which you'll either love or not be able to stand, so I thoroughly recommend that anyone thinking of buying it should be familiar with them and try to hear the album first. However, they can certainly take their position amongst the new breed of great post-everything/psycho/abrasive bands such as TEMBLD, McLusky and Ikara Colt and anyone who's into these bands should definitely check them out.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unhinged Glory, 23 Mar 2003
This review is from: Burn Piano Island, Burn (Audio CD)
My god! Just when you thought the music industry was becoming stagnant The Blood Brothers come along and give it an almighty kick up the backside. The staccato guitars seem random at first but they fit perfectly over the manic drums. All this is completed by the duel vocals which range from high pitch scream to mellow croon. Stand out tracks are Ambulance... , Denver Max (with it's sorbid content) and Every Breath Is a Bomb. If you have an open musical mind i strongly suggest this as it will alter your perspective on what it allowed in rock.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars And they look so normal..., 20 Mar 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Burn Piano Island, Burn (Audio CD)
Wow!!! If you thought originality has been flagging in recent times, a short burst of The Blood Brothers' extremely abrasive, avant garde noisecore should instantly reinstore your faith in rock as an artform. Its the vocals that hit you first. High pitched and almost at risk of sounding like the Tweenies, vocalists Jordan Billie and Johnny Whitney show a refreshing disregard for the overbearing macho grunting of many extreme bands. And to back up their bizarre style, the music is quirky, dischordant and practically devoid of melody (apart from the singalong-baiting "ambulance vs ambulance"), with the emphasis placed on just making a visceral, ear drum shredding racket. Inspiring!
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