Blood For Blood
Wasted Youth Brew
Blood For Blood are something of a guilty pleasure. Filtering Oi’s roughneck hedonism through an unapologetically white-trash muse, Blood For Blood’s punk/hardcore/metal amalgam approximates an SSD-meets-Motorhead aesthetic, the Boston bruisers sticking out like a sore thumb on Victory’s usually PC roster since the word go (almost as much as Hi-Fi and the Roadburners did). An odds n’ sods collection of demos, live cuts, and comp/vinyl-only tracks, Wasted Youth Brew unarguably serves as the most rousing introduction to Blood For Blood money can buy. At 25 songs in 75 minutes, the collection holds together as well as any of Blood For Blood’s two studio albums (Spit My Last Breath and Revenge On Society), and despite the exhaustive breadth offered here, nary an ounce of energy or urgency is lost in the process. Of the demo tracks, we get four from their 1995 Hurt You demo, all displaying Blood For Blood’s heavy-as-hell hardcore sound of yore, especially on crowd fave “Paper Gangster” • all told, spotty in their tough-guyisms, but heartily enjoyable if testosterone-core’s your thing. Speaking of crowd faves, the ten live songs are excellently recorded and show the band in fine (possibly drunken) form, presumably whipping the crowd into a frenzy judging by vocalist Erick Medina’s frequent cajoles to mosh even more, the best example being the mass singalong to Revenge On Society‘s title track. Best of all, though, are the first four songs, all showing a shift away from their hardcore roots into more street-punk territory. The first of them, “When the Storm Comes (I’ll Stand Alone),” is undoubtedly the finest, most headbangingly crazy moment Blood For Blood’s committed to tape yet, featuring a gang chorus you can’t help but shout along to and some surprisingly melodic guitar work from Rob Lind (another indication of their shift toward street punk), only to be formidably followed by a thoroughly fist-pumping run-through of The Wretched Ones’ “Goin’ Down the Bar” (something of an Oi “classic,” so I’ve heard). And the cover frenzy continues with faithful, yet roughed-up, readings of two more classics: Slapshot’s “No Friend of Mine” and The Dead Boys’ “All This and More,” the former signifying Blood For Blood’s Boston-core roots, the latter their more rock n’ roll new direction, both butting up against each other quite logically, and more so, fiercely. Certainly not for everyone • too punk for metal fans, too drunk for hardcore ones • Blood For Blood nonetheless prove that sticking to your uncool guns is perhaps the coolest move of all, Wasted Youth Brew suitably providing a nice, long soundtrack for many a night of drunken debauchery • take that, straight-edgers.
Victory, PO Box 146546, Chicago, IL 60614; http://www.victoryrecords.com