Bloodiest: Bloodiest

Relapse Records and Chicago underdogs team up for a bloody good noise/art rock mélange.



Label: Relapse
Release Date: 2016-01-15

Chicago's Bloodiest return with an all new, killer, avant garde self-titled full length that couldn't be more timely evidence that music is worth risking it all for. Think Swans by way of Jesus Lizard's more dissonant side with moody Nick Cave-esque lows and Id-charged baritone crooning or more Birthday Party barking and you're near to hitting the target. While the bloodflow of the Windy City's long history of noise rock is alive and well in the pulsing heart of these eight artsy tunes, they aren't chained to a certain decade compositionally.

Art, music and even things like the cultural power of Star Wars have the ability to bridge across political divides if powerful enough. Bold work reminds us we are all human and can't fail to stir poetry in the subconscious. Recently transmuted icon David Bowie epitomized this concept, by being a hero to anyone with an impulse to explore.

Bloodiest vocalist Bruce Lamont (also of jazz/psych mongers Yakuza and industrial Eyehategod/Neurosi-fied poetry slam meets post-metallers Corrections House) is likewise an artist unafraid to risk too much too soon, leading Bloodiest in a mercurial waltz down winding sonic passageways others would fear to tread in an age where fearful conformity and recognizable tropes are far too often the go to solution.

Bloodiest play like they are determined we keep the "true believer" torch from sputtering out on eight fiery tracks of startlingly crisp production, courtesy of the band's own Tony Lazzara and fader pushing blog darling Sanford Parker. You'll hear the clean, audible quality of Sonic Youth's late career critically adored Murray Street by way of reference more than the dry Steve Albini-style production one might expect from "this type of band". Nandini Khaund's eerie backdrop of synth and piano work bears shouting out in particular for adding extra emotional depth to guitar sprawl that threatens to completely engulf the ear at times like a blizzard or Dirty Three at their most chaotic.

We mustn't shun the lessons of the demi-gods who have come before, the Bowies and Giras, Klaus Nomi types, the freaks and geeks, divas and Wizards of Oz. Thankfully some "risky" artists like Tearist, Dax Riggs, these cats in Bloodiest, Missy Elliot or even bubble-goth queen Kerli are aware that without baring it all we'd never have our In Uteros, Marquee Moons or Scary Monsters to save this Burning World we live in. We wouldn't have made it this far.

Yet Bloodiest are crafty enough to never tip their hand.

From the gypsy themed, percussive and tribal thump of the slightly Steel Pole Bathtub reminiscent "Mesmerize" to the diagonal-brained dirge of "He Is Disease" to the primal, wall of no wave sound roar of "Suffer" (which calls to mind below the average radar, fellow Swans disciple drone gothers Fad Nauseam from Philly), this is the first real "must own" art rock record of the year. Besides Blackstar, of course.


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