Now & Then: Past Lives and The Blood Brothers

Earlier this week I had to justify why Gogol Bordello put on the best show I had ever seen out of the roughly 200 bands I’ve seen in my time. It’s easy to top The Faint (who’s orchestrated better than the New York Philharmonic), but I had trouble justifying how they could be better than seeing The Blood Brothers live. The Blood Brothers were just…indescribable. It occurred at the Riv in Chicago in 2005, after previous failed attempts to see ’em, and still leaves me bewildered at the sheer vicious level of energy I experienced. If you had on one side, a band playing with the most energy a band could ever exert, and on the other, the most energy an audience could ever show, and they were in perfect balance…that was the Blood Brothers show.

To be brief, their career spanned ten years and left us with five genre-destroying albums, two EPs, and a handful of DVDs. When I first heard …Burn Piano Island, Burn, a promo copy I stumbled upon, it was just confusingly jarring. Dual vocalists jockeying screams and melodically haunting whispers, one rising higher than Chris Conley‘s-which probably shouldn’t be possible-with the voraciousness of Corey Taylor. It took me a good couple weeks to be able to sit through the album; it drew you in with the complex bass lines coupled with staggered drums. At the time, you’d expect this type from These Arms Are Snakes, but The Blood Brothers skewed it towards punk instead of post-hardcore. I ran across only one group that was similar, The JonBenét, yet they bordered on that intolerable hardcore punk side of groups I can’t listen to leisurely.

Currently they only have music for purchase released via the Journal of Popular Noise. Although their shows are predominately in Seattle and the West Coast currently, it’s only a matter of time before their anticipated show swings eastward.

Update (7/31): Jaguar Love just released the video for Highway to Gold, as well as the mp3 on Matador‘s website. The track is the first song released off their upcoming debut LP, Take Me To The Sea (August 19th, pre-order available now through Matador). The below is said mp3 via Matador. Like The Blood Brothers, it’ll grow on you:
Jaguar Love – Highways of Gold

Update (8/6): Past Lives’ Strange Symmetry EP is in those digital storefronts for only $5! Features Strange Symmetry and Reverse the Curse.

MySpace: Past Lives
MySpace: Jaguar Love
iTunes: Jaguar Love – EP
MySpace: The Blood Brothers
iTunes: The Blood Brothers

Founder, Editor, Writer, Photographer. (Austin, Texas)

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