The New Bloods

The New Bloods

The New Bloods

The Secret Life

Kill Rock Stars

Portland’s The New Bloods make music as if the last decade never happened, Riot Grrrl is in full effect, Sleater Kinney has not split up yet, and Bikini Kill did not fade away into Le Tigre yet. It’s all there in the mix of The New Bloods, only this trio of ladies brings a violin to the table. It’s this addition that makes the band’s otherwise routine tunes stand out as something with a bit more depth…sometimes.

Osa Atoe’s string shredding, Adee Roberson’s tribal beats, and Cassia Gammill’s hypnotic bass pulses are the strengths on The Secret Life. When this album stays raw and jungle-like, as on “The Secret Life,” “Fast Asleep,” and “Oh, Deadly Nightshade,” it excites me. But, like many of the flawed Kill Rock Stars releases, the handful of great songs are buried beneath filler that should have been worked out in the studio or omitted altogether. “Day After Day” and “Behind Mountains” are perfect examples of why this genre burned out long ago. Songs should be songs, not spoken word experiments. It’s just plain dull.

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