Sunday, August 10, 2014

A review of "Non-Rhotic" by the Blue Bloods (Due Out: Oct. 14th on East Grand Record Co.)

When I first saw the Blue Bloods, it was March 2005 as they were opening for the Dropkick Murphys on a Saturday night on Lansdowne Street.  I was probably fourteen or fifteen years old and I saw them a handful more into my high school years with a line up that was much different than it is now.  They always remained one of my favorites and I was extremely curious as to why they dropped off the map up until a few years ago.  They're back now with three new members, Jim Burke and Tom O'Connell (Pug Uglies) on guitars and Marc Cannata from Far From Finished on drums while the remaining two is Tim Baxter on vocals and Greg Genovese on bass.  When word initially spread they were in the studio at the Outpost recording a new album, it gave plenty of us street punk fans, something to look forward to.  I must say, it really exceeded my expectations.

Some of these newer songs they have incorporated in their setlist such as On Your Own which opens up the album.  Its one of those songs you can take and relate to it anyway you would like but in the end, its about those that we know that have to make the best out of a tough situation.  With that being said,  you can expect some more personal songs on here. Track one is followed by the explosive, If It Leads, It Bleeds which is a fast and hard hitting street punk song.  What I was really excited to hear was how the re-wrote the music to a couple of old demo's that were on their myspace page from way back in the day.  One is called The Click and another is called Under The Influence which the music was completely different but I was excited to see done.

In life, we all come across those people that don't entirely know when to either stop talking or realize when enough is enough when it comes to their bullshit.  In hindsight, thats what Better In Silence is about. Sincerity, track seven is also a favorite which questions people's ability or lack there-of to be genuine and real. Another stand out part of this song (and the record in general) is the catchy guitar hooks that Jim Burke, Tom O'Connell and even Paul Christian (Far From Finished/Cradle To The Grave) stepped in on for lead guitar work.  Thats one part that really makes this record fantastic, is its musicianship. The Blue Bloods have found away to not lose touch with their street punk routes but also have the ability to add some additional work into the music.  As you have noticed by now, there is plenty of social commentary on the human condition in general through their perspective. At the same time, nothing beats Deaf, Dumb, & Blind which takes a jab at the simple minded state of people.  In other words, their lack of ability to see the big picture of what is happening to our society.  Its simple, to the point, and there is no preachy political banter at all.  Just the truth.

You find an ode to the 9-5 workers with Doppelgänger which opens with "The alarm clock blaring its six am, I am wondering how this happened again..." which many can easily relate to (especially after a night at the bar).  Another fast street punk song is Mercenaries which I really looked forward to because Jim Burke does lead vocals on this song and the upbeat and fist raising, Drawn and Quartered which again shows their ability to write catchy street punk songs.  Toward the end, you have a more sentimental and introspective type song called Let It Go which is a personal favorite. Lastly, they also put in some great humor with this record with She's Into Malakas, Dino and quoting a little bit of the movie, Weird Science which is something the older crowd may appreciate.  Overall, its great to see a band such as the Blue Bloods come back with a powerful record.  Even though it may have taken awhile, quality over quantity is what I always say!  If you are interested in a hard charging Boston street punk record with catchy riffs, insightful lyrics, I highly recommend this album.  There is something in here for everybody!

Band Info:
Blue Bloods Facebook
Pre-Order "Non-Rhotic" on BandCamp here:
East Grand Record Company
Full album stream of "Non-Rhotic" on New Noise Magazine