Blood for Blood

Serenity

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On what may very well be the first-ever punk album inspired by the Serenity Prayer, Boston's (actually Charlestown's) native sons Blood for Blood manage to deliver a full program of hardcore that covers a wide range of emotions while staying pretty firmly inside the conventional boundaries of the genre. Serenity's title track, powerful as it is, is not the emotional centerpiece of the album; that honor goes to "Hanging On the Corner," a heartbreaking description of the Charlestown streets that reads as a deeply conflicted cross between celebration and bitter lament. "Live the Lie" is similarly ambivalent; Blood for Blood have been on the hardcore scene long enough now to realize that for all the anthemic paeans to brotherhood and solidarity it generates, the scene isn't actually going to solve anybody's problems, and on this song they simultaneously expose its false promises ("None of you cowards has a thing to say") and urge the crew on to better things ("We should be so much more/This could be something pure"). OK, it's not exactly Kierkegaard, but it's a refreshing change from the knee-jerk straight-edge norm. And just when things start to get a little bit too serious, the band whips out a ripsnorting cover version of Del Shannon's "Runaway." The CD-ROM segment includes an excellent documentary film about the band and the making of Serenity. Highly recommended.

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