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Thursday, May 29, 2008

CD Review: Sirhan Sirhan - Blood

Sirhan Sirhan - Blood
2008 Anodyne Records
Ray Van Horn, Jr.

Though not everyone is on board the Amen angst train, there's been a large rut in the hardcore and punk scene without Casey Chaos, although the bitter pill on two legs has been raising hell in the metal ranks with his equally abusive death metal collaboration Scum. Still, despite talk of a new Amen record finally surfacing, there's been a space in punk that Amen vociferously occupied while only a handful of bands have been able to match Amen's shatterpoint nerve cutting integrity. 400 Blows comes to mind as does Fight Amp and It's Casual.

Though they're nowhere near as prolific as Casey Chaos and Amen, San Diego's Sirhan Sirhan brings their listeners equally close to the edge with their tenacious and violent debut album Blood. This SoCal punk unit has previously won Best New Artist in 2006 and subsequently Best New Alternative Band last year at the San Diego Music Awards, and certainly these guys are on the hair's edge of brilliance with their unabashedly jagged and forcible hardcore. Pushing their manic punk tones to sheer brink of tonal destruction, Sirhan Sirhan lets no moment go to waste on Blood, so much the album is an experience, much less a hostile listening session.

As Sirhan Sirhan swirls an old school slam dance with "Time to Bleed" with verses reminiscent of The Adolescents or JFA before bringing things into a more contemporary ping pong bounce, they likewise go berserk on cuts like "Remove My Eyes," where the song is so chaotic you'll need to process a double-time beat beneath the main drag until it adopts a massive riff mentality ala Black Flag from Cap'n Blackie--also the group's vocalist--who throws his yowling pipes into an shivery echo chamber. The process is repeated on the haunted and hollow "The Maggot Sings," which Cap'n Blackie peels off a sick and twisted Jonathan Davis wail of vulnerability with the "spread your wings the maggot sings" lyric in the song's outro. Truly gloomy and nonetheless full of rockout disorder that will have listeners probably backing up the track to take it all in.

In fact, the majority of Blood is going to require second spins because this trio of punker mad dogs crunch and cram as much loud lunacy as they can into songs like "All Aboard," "Blood" "Chop Chop," "Decapitate Disintegrate" and "Burn it Down." A proper punk album is one that is so confrontational the listener feels he is being thrown down against, and assuredly Blood assumes such a feel. Said album is also one that is so fierce and relentless the listener isn't thinking twice about putting the thing on repeat in order to uncork the album's subtleties. Of course, Blood is hardly subtle; it possesses more bluntness than a sharpened rapier and it will leave swiped scars, beware.

Still, for all of the schizophrenic gulping, huffing and howling Cap'n Blackie barfs throughout Blood, his group has for themselves a contentional spot as holders of the gap space in fuck you punk still waiting to be reclaimed by Amen.

Rating: ****


Amy said...

Sirhan Sirhan really impressed me with this CD. I thought he was goinna blow it, but I was totally wrong. He is a talented killer. lol

Amy said...

Sirhan Sirhan really impressed me with this CD. I thought he was goinna blow it, but I was totally wrong. He is a talented killer. lol