Blood Brothers and These Arms Are Snakes

July 31

Is "screamo" actually happening? The New York Times, NME and Brittany, a "high school student" on Amazon.com, think so: They're calling new bands like the Used, Glassjaw and Thursday--all of whom would have been called "emo" (or not called at all) just two short summers ago--part of a new movement of groups dedicated to making music "that's inventive and melodic and yet more than satisfies the primal rock-and-roll requirement," as the Times' Jonathan Dee has it. Seattle's Blood Brothers, headlining an early show at Rubber Gloves on Thursday evening, don't like the term: "We abhor it," singer Jordan Blilie told LA Weekly a couple of months ago. And yet Burn, Piano Island, Burn, the group's new major-label debut, displays invention, melodies and primal rock-and-roll requirements (like screaming); it might be one of the year's most exciting rock records, if exciting means sounding like two feral tomcats duking it out inside a paper bag full of staples. Openers These Arms Are Snakes, also from Seattle, don't scream as much on their new Jade Tree EP, This Is Meant to Hurt You, but they do include a few melodies and some healthy guitar chug. It's inventive if inventive means conventional, which is just as well; unless screamo streamlines itself pretty quickly, it's hard to imagine the music breaking through to whomever resides on the other side.

 
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