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Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
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Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Fat Possum
Blood Brothers
Young Machetes

Rating: 8/10 ?

November 13, 2006
The Blood Brothers have had quite a style arc over their past five albums. Starting off as a slightly sinister screamo act with the novelty of two singers, the band took their early sound and added liberal amounts of rhythm and swagger to create a synthesis of hardcore and dance music. Unfortunately, with Young Machetes, the band has neither progressed, nor digressed. Instead of returning to their roots and losing some of the pomp and melody in favor of raucous discordance or continuing down the filthy, futuristic path that they traveled with Crimes, Young Machetes finds the Blood Brothers in territory they have yet to explore, namely rote and insipid music. Their signature sound is still prevalent, but the energy and immediacy of previous albums is missing.

Usually, an album like this would be labeled a sellout or an attempt for an artist to gain more popularity through a watered down version of their former selves. But let's be serious - even in today's wide open music market, a band like the Blood Brothers will never be adopted by MTV or heard on a radio station that isn't being transmitted from a University.

Perhaps the boys are now grown men and no longer have much to scream about. Or, after years of larynx shredding, they are incapable of screaming any longer. All I know is that the second to the last song has a mellow clarinet outro that could pass for something out of Peter and the Wolf. There are some standout tracks, namely the opener "Set Fire to The Face On Fire," but for the most part, Young Machetes, when measured by the bands' self-established standards, plays it safe.

It has been very easy to scoff at the Blood Brothers throughout their career. As poster boys for a new generation of bands that were pretty, slim, and hip, they tended to be seen by cynics as phonies. The truth of the matter is that they have been far more progressive than most of their peers and even released a genuine masterpiece of aggression, rhythm, and attitude with Burn Piano Island Burn. While Young Machetes is a slight slip in quality, it is the first the band has made so far. Sure, they wear single digit sized pants held up by non-functional white belts and your little sister asked them to be friends on Myspace, but even an off album by the Blood Brothers is preferable to most of what's out there these days.

Reviewed by Kevin Alfoldy
An aspiring global adventurer who cut his teeth on the sandy beaches and dirty bitches of Southern California, Kevin Alfoldy now spends his non-vacation days in Brooklyn, New York, where he occasionally finds the time to rub the crust out of his eyes long enough to contribute reviews and feature articles for LAS. A longtime staff member, Kevin also captains the tattered, often half-sunk raft of EPmd, our irregular column of EP reviews.

See other reviews by Kevin Alfoldy



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