Bloodclot is a punk rock group made up from a diverse group of veterans all well known in their own right.
Fronted by ex Cro-Mags vocalist John Joseph and ably backed up by Todd Youth (Agnostic Front) and QOTSA alumni Joey Castillo and Nick Oliveri, this album will either be everything the hardcore kid in me has ever loved about the NYHC scene or fall flat on its face in a shower of noise. Let’s check it out!
Starting out in a haze of feedback ‘Up in Arms’ gets straight to the point just when you have had enough of the noise. And it has to be said, the band is on fire from the start, a simple repetitive riff over a great stomping backline, and John Joseph sounds the angriest he has since his recorded debut with Cro-Mags on Age of Quarrel some 30 years ago.
Even in the mid section of the album where Joseph injects some of his spiritual beliefs into the likes of ‘Siva/Rudra’ he is still the angriest man on the earth even when he has found complete inner peace, and Youth plays a great solo right in the mid section.
The album continues in this vein. Very distinct, and I have to say comfortable punk/hardcore. Producer by Chris ‘Zuess’ Harris has caught an intensity here that some modern bands could learn from, perhaps even being outplayed by men a lot older playing with a full-tilt volatility from ‘Manic’ or its madder cousin ‘Kill the Beast’ and still going right to the last note. Every riff is right up front and Castillo sounds like he is drumming for his life. Sure he has held down some of the greatest hard rock albums, but here it is like there is a gun to his head, while Oliveri just tries to keep up, and throws the odd bass lick like the ones hidden deep in ‘Soldiers of the New Babylon’
If you have never felt the intensity that originally drew people like myself to the hardcore scene and in particular the NYHC movement of the 80s and 90s this album has everything that still makes so many of them classics in anyone’s book, ‘Slipping Into Darkness’ in particular. The only sad part from a personal perspective was reviewing a digital copy so I couldn’t hold a lyric sheet in my hand and get to know them even better, but that is ok for now. My neighbours will be singing along with me soon enough.
1. Up in Arms
4. Kill the Beast
7. Soldiers of the New Babylon
9. Slow Kill Genocide
10. Slipping into Darkness
11. Life As One
12. You’ll Be the Death of Me