The Blood Brothers

Crimes

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    8
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Crimes is Blood Brothers' V2 debut, and their fourth album overall. The quintet is still led by blaring, interwoven vocals of Johnny Whitney and Jordan Blilie. One screams and yelps in a very high register, the other is not so high, but still great at screaming. The Brothers' basic sound is jagged and post-punk-derived, full of hyper percussion and jerking, screeching guitars. But while this might sound like chaos, it's not. Like Whirlwind Heat or the Icarus Line, the Blood Brothers always provide a counterweight to their noisier, freakier sides. Depending on the song, that weight can either be furious rock energy, laptop experimentation, or pianos and accordions used in illegal ways. Crimes keeps a tight lid on the nervous energy that's always defined the group, channeling it into aggressive songs that often suggest the damaged, exciting grooves of vintage Brainiac (particularly "Teen Heat" and "Trash Flavored Trash"), as well as subtler numbers with atmosphere to spare. Though it periodically explodes into a metal-ish racket, "Love Rhymes With Hideous Car Wreck" pulsing rhythms and arching guitar lines mostly follow the contours of the dance-punk scene en vogue in the early 2000s. The title track skulks along with a plodding bassline and lyrics about robbing liquor stores and wandering through landfills; it eventually recedes into the rich tones of a Wurlitzer, and the vocalists' quiet sighs. "Celebrator" begins as an a cappella dirge, but detonates unexpectedly into raucous triple-time. Other highlights include the lurching, grinding opener, "Feed Me to the Forest," the frantic, piano-driven "Peacock Skeleton With Feathers," and "My First Kiss at the Public Execution," which finds an incredibly sharp chorus hook in between its bloodcurdling screams.

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