Blood On The Wall Blood On The Wall

Promising a return "back to the world of fun rock and roll,” NYC’s Blood On The Wall offer a complex amalgam of familiar indie-art-rock sounds on their accomplished debut. Featuring the boy-girl vocal styling of siblings Brad and Courtney Shanks, the album alternates between highly-energetic, sloppy guitar textures and moody, bass-heavy, two-dimensional pieces. The former are often sung by Brad Shanks, whose crazed yowl is a dead ringer for the singular vocals of Drive Like Jehu’s Rick Froberg. The vocal resemblance coupled with the urgent strumming and wall-of-guitar mix cause songs like "Security In The Neighbourhood” and "Black Rats and Top Hats” to bust at the seams. The moodier, sparser pieces are more often sister Courtney’s domain; her husky voice delivers minimalist lyrics in much the same manner as Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon. The similarity is almost eerie on songs like the VU-soaked "When You Go Out Walking” and "Good Boys,” which resembles mid-period Butterglory. Composing an assured full-length, Blood On The Wall mostly pay tribute to the art punk of NYC, faithfully lifting from the aesthetic of Sonic Youth (not to mention SY-spawns such as Pavement and the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion) to create a sound that is at once pleasantly nostalgic and artfully contemporary. (Social Registry)