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Blood on the Wall - Awesomer (Cover Artwork)

Blood on the Wall

Blood on the Wall: AwesomerAwesomer (2005)
The Social Registry

Reviewer Rating: 4
User Rating:


Contributed by: LevitateMeLevitateMe
(others by this writer | submit your own)

I've often wondered what I would do with access to a time machine. Where would I go? What would I see? I'm sure most people have had similar thoughts. This question commonly arises on message boards or during chemically-aided late-night conversations, and I've noticed that we music fans always come .
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I've often wondered what I would do with access to a time machine. Where would I go? What would I see? I'm sure most people have had similar thoughts. This question commonly arises on message boards or during chemically-aided late-night conversations, and I've noticed that we music fans always come up with a similar answer. That one great show, that one long gone band that we were too young or unlucky to see. We can enjoy this music through recordings, but it's just not the same as being there.

It really seems like all of the greatest music was made before I was born or old enough to attend shows. There is an indie revolution occurring currently with new and exciting bands gaining recognition every year. But I'd trade every Arcade Fire or Broken Social Scene show for a chance to see the Ramones or Talking Heads at CBGBs, the Clash and Sex Pistols at the 100 Club, the Germs at The Whiskey. Velvet Underground, Dead Kennedys, Misfits, My Bloody Valentine, Pavement... There are so many. These bands did music the right way and they did it best. That's why we feel we've missed out.

Constantly, bands are being praised for their originality when they are really just points Y and Z on a long musical road map. Every once in a while, though, a band comes along that seems out of place. A band that helps us relive these musical glory days that we wish we had been a part of. The most recent band to do this is Blood on the Wall. With Awesomer, the New York trio brings to mind everything from mid-seventies garage punk to early-nineties alernative rock.

BOTW describe themselves as "a brother, a sister, and a brother." Siblings Brad and Courtney Shanks take care of the vocals and strings while New York hardcore veteran and African-American "brother" (haha, now I get it) Miggy Littleton is on drums. Courtney (straight out of the Kim Gordon school of singing) takes the mic on album opener "Stoner Jam" and the riff sounds like Sonic Youth covering "Foxy Lady." This is quickly followed by "Reunite on Ice," led by Brad. His voice can best be described as Jack White impersonating Frank Black. Imagine this over a fuzzy My Bloody Valentine composition and you've got the song. Speaking of MBV, Courtney's voice begins to sound a little more Bilinda Butcher soft and pretty and less Kim Gordon loud and abrasive with "I'd Like to Take You Out Tonight," which sounds like an Isn't Anything B-side. Another highlight would be "Mary Susan," which sounds remarkably similar to "Where Is My Mind?" but with a more raucous chorus. Ripping off the Pixies is nothing new, but it's a lot more noticeable with Brad's Frank Black impersonator voice. That voice is really the closest to the real thing that I've ever heard, and it's going to immediately draw any Pixies fans to this band. "Right to Lite Tonight" sounds like FB fronting Gang of Four while the closing ballad "Going to Heaven" (no monkeys) is very similar to some of his Americana work with the Catholics.

Now, this is punknews.org, so you want some punk right? Well there is plenty on this album. Many of the Courtney-led tracks sound like they'd fit better in 1977 New York. "Heat from the Day" bounces along with thick Cramps-like bass and "Keep Your Eyes" sounds like it could've been recorded during the same session as the Misfits' "Last Caress." But brother Brad can bring the punk as well. "Gone" would've fit in nicely on Wire's Pink Flag while hardcore track "Hey, Hey" could've been penned by a 19-year-old Ian Macaye. "Get the Fuck Off My Cloud," with its trebly surfish guitar, reminds me of the Dead Kennedys and when Brad screams "Hey! You! Get off of my cloud!" it might as well be "MTV get off the air."

Blood on the Wall is not the main project for any of its members. They just record and play live for fun. That's a bit of a shame, because this is one of the few bands that kind of eases the pain of missing out on some of those classic bands, and Awesomer is one of the few records this year that was actually compelling and exciting the whole way through. Hopefully we'll hear more from them in the future and, who knows, maybe one day some kid will wish he'd been around to see Blood on the Wall.

P.S. I gave this an 8 just because I didn't think it was quite worth a 9. It's more like an 8.5.

 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Anonymous (November 21, 2005)

This band slays. Better than everything reviewed on this site in the past 3 weeks.

LevitateMe (November 18, 2005)

I guess I should've been more specific.

Anonymous (November 17, 2005)

No, in their '77-80 heyday they were just two guitarists, a singer, and a drummer.

SICKBOI (November 17, 2005)

""Heat from the Day" bounces along with thick Cramps-like bass"

Um... The Cramps didn't have a bassist.

-Will"

Will, are you retarded? The Cramps have had SEVERAL bassists, the current one is Chopper Franklin.

Anonymous (November 16, 2005)

""Heat from the Day" bounces along with thick Cramps-like bass"

Um... The Cramps didn't have a bassist.

-Will

Anonymous (November 15, 2005)

dude I never wished to see at the drive in and nobody will wish that...cause the gigs from Circle Jerks, Bad Brains etc. were legendary...these bands are ok (not for me) but they dont cause such an excitement and craze

Anonymous (November 15, 2005)

that appears to be the wrong cover art

Marlon (November 15, 2005)

I think everyone sort of looks back at their musical past and what they wish they could have done. I mean... 10 years from now there might be kids moaning about how they never got to see Broken Social Scene and Wolf Parade and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah and Against Me! and The Lawrence Arms. I think it sort of goes along with being a music fan, wishing you were older or born to see bands from the past. I mean thus your statement cheapens the music of today, I mean... I bet there were a good amount of kids in the 70's who thought those bands fucking sucked (and no... I don't think they sucked). I mean... I think At The Drive In is a pefect example. Who the FUCK got to see ATDI when they were touring? Small amount of people, and a lot of people who did see them only now realize what they were getting to see. I'm gonna stop talking now, this has gone on to long. Good review.

Anonymous (November 15, 2005)

worst fucking cover art ever

Anonymous (November 15, 2005)

omg..terribly would have liked to see dead kennedys or minor threat..fuck it

skaboom (November 15, 2005)

yeah.

OK FINE IM WRONG.

skaboom (November 15, 2005)

You don't think so? I only have his self titled solo album, maybe his newer stuff is a bit different. It's more polished, but the song structures and such seem pretty similar.

LevitateMe (November 15, 2005)

Well, like I said I wasn't around to see any of those bands, I have seen BSS a few times and while they're very good, I don't think it would beat a Dead Kennedys or Clash show.

And Malkmus doesn't perform Pavement songs live and the Silver Jews have performed about 5 times ever.

Anonymous (November 15, 2005)

dude his solo stuff sounds nothing like pavement

skaboom (November 15, 2005)

I disagree with your second paragraph, I think Broken Social Scene blows all those bands out of the water. And Malkmus is still around putting out solo records and collaborating with Silver Jews, both of whom sound strikingly similar to Pavement. But sounds up my alley, I shall give this a listen. And before anyone else can beat me to it:

omg wtf this isnt pitchfork lol.

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