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Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
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
Detachment Kit
Of This Blood...
Frenchkiss Records

Rating: 8/10 ?

October 1, 2004
The new album from The Detachment Kit is less of a screechy guitar assault than their debut might lead you to believe. It contains more funk, swagger and superfluous, pretty instrument beds to create a fuller sound that shows a good deal of growth from this talented band.

TOf this Blood... doesn't immediately strike with as much outrage or angular, noisy guitars; nor does it contain rush to the smartass lyrics of initial effort, They Raging, Quiet Army, but after a few listens, the high tension guitar rock, smarmy lyrics and outrage are still to be found. The album contains elements of bands like And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead, 764 Hero and The Afghan Whigs; but TOf this Blood...is not a knock-off album by any means, it is a confident stride forward for The Detachment Kit.

When I first inserted the CD into my player, I thought I had been robbed, fooled, and bamboozled; the first track, "Night of My Death" is a minute and a half piece of sound. A trumpet blows over the top of some gentle mariachi guitar picking as vocals sing "La, la, la, la" like an amateur church choir warming up their vocal chords. It turns out "Night of My Death" is only slightly disarming: for those who were hoping for the immediate ass kicking and sweat The Detachment Kit previously, this indicates the more experimental feel to their second effort.

TOf this Blood... is decorated with pianos, xylophones, trumpets, cellos and accordions; this group of diverse instruments helps members Ian Menard (guitar and vocals) and Charlie Davis (guitar) layer their sound and create more interesting breakdowns and transitions than ever approached. Luckily, the intense guitars and screaming vocals take center stage in enough frequency to remind the listener that the D Kit gets drunk and belts out noisy nonsense with the best of them.

The second track, "Skyscrapers," gets into the adrenaline. The song begins with a soft xylophone; a faint guitar crescendo leads into a powerful rifling of drum beats, and Menard screams, "It's not who you are, it's better than that." The energy stays heightened to the next track, "Ted the Electric," about an electrician with catastrophic energies, electrifying synergies and super powers.

The CD slows with "Ricochet" and "Chronology;" both songs have wonderful, smiling, clean guitar riffs, a little piano and smooth jazzy bass lines. The songs tone down the aggression, exuding a warm feeling like a 50s pop song. It's a little odd, but The Detachment Kit seems to capture the same smooth jazz and rock feel that someone like Otis Redding would use on his soulful rock ballads.

The beat picks up a bit after "Chronology," when "Pill Cake" finds a funky bass line and a cocky sounding Menard sings, "Randy takes his clothes off, he's such a robot/Molly's coming over, she's such a showoff." At this point, The Detachment Kit grabs hold of your veins with "Vanish or Vanquish," beginning with quick drum bursts and creepy guitars that lead into Menard screaming, "Why cry? You've been buried before."

Overall, the 14 tracks on TOf this Blood... rotate nicely between loud and rambunctious clatter and soft, indie soul tunes. On top of this, the album sounds crisp, finding a return to Steve Albini's Electrical Audio studio in Chicago.

The most annoying thing about TOf this Blood... is the album artwork: a mess of different colors and lyrics scribbled around without any real order. However, they generously include a game, akin to a Candyland adventure map, on the lyric sheet that adds to the fun.

Despite the annoying layout, TOf this Blood... is a nice mixture of intelligence, lightheartedness, aggression and smoothness. The album should be a welcomed by any established D-Kit fans and will likely earn them a few more.

Reviewed by Mike Hammer

See other reviews by Mike Hammer



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