Blood and guts

Blood Brothers

Indecipherable in Seattle

One of the great contradictions about the Blood Brothers is that they put serious effort into crafting evocative, unsettling lyrics that their two maniacal singers render nearly indecipherable.

Seattle's premier polyrhythmic punk band, the Brothers make such an art form of jarring tempo shifts and slasher-flick shrieks that you'd be excused for missing the focused social critiques of songs such as "Feed Me To The Forest" and "Love Rhymes With Hideous Car Wreck," two of the highlights of their 2004 V2 Records release, Crimes. With potent phrases like "these hot machine years burning time across your face," and "highways wrapped around my body like a snake," they make a decaying environment feel like a hard kick in the gut, rather than a topic for civil political discourse.

Johnny Whitney and Jordan Blilie, the group's vocalists, have developed the most eccentric imaginable duet approach, alternately tag-teaming, taking separate octaves, and screaming simultaneously. Whitney's voice is the real shocker, a crazed falsetto that suggests a teenage girl running naked through the halls of a mental institution. You can also hear distant, mutilated echoes of Janis Joplin, Cyndi Lauper, and Nina Simone, three of his favorite singers.

   Blood Brothers with Chinese Stars, and Mean Reds

Mon, Feb 21
1818 N. Main

"Before I never really thought about it, but on this record I pretty much tried my hardest to make sure people could understand what I was saying," Whitney says from a tour stop in San Francisco. "I don't know why, but I just can't. It's hard for me even to talk in a way that doesn't come out sounding like Mushmouth. It's not any stylistic decision, it's just what happens."

Fresh off a January 20 Anti-Inaugural Ball in Seattle that raised an estimated $5,000 for civilian victims of the Iraq War, they're presently attacking apathy, one defenseless eardrum at a time.

Gilbert Garcia

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