7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
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!