BLOOD FOR BLOOD — Outlaw Anthems (review)

BLOOD FOR BLOOD — Outlaw Anthems album cover Album · 2002 · Hardcore Punk Buy this album from MMA partners
5/5 ·
Vim Fuego
You think you know heavy? Intense? Real? Angry? Ever checked this out? If not, then no, you don’t.

Founded by guitarist and songwriter White Trash Rob in 1994, Blood For Blood took every ounce of anger, rage, frustration, and fury he ever felt and channelled it into music. It was a release valve for a man who might have otherwise exploded into pointless violence. Hardcore has always been about unity and brotherhood, and has often been a family substitute for those without, and in this case, it seems like Rob has been dealt a real dud hand. Instead of just giving in, he turned his anger into hard, brutal music.

“Postcard From The Edge” is an intro which sounds like a riot, building a feeling of impending violence. And that is exactly what is delivered. Words like “Mother dear/I will spit in your face” shows who Rob holds responsible for his shitty upbringing. The chugging riffs of the song basically set out what’s in store for the rest of the album - hard, angry music.

“Ain’t Like You (Wasted Youth II)” is a continuation of the theme of “Wasted Youth Crew” from the band’s previous album “Revenge on Society”. It’s a middle finger to mainstream society from society’s rejects, who pull together for safety and comfort.

“White Trash Anthem” is an outstanding, thought provoking song. It combines an old school oi punk feel with hard assed Boston hardcore. It’s also about as close as the band ever gets to a melody It reflects on the hopelessness of living in degradation and poverty, with little realistic opportunity available to escape, and how easily forgotten and ignored an underclass is. The song’s bridge is bleak and chilling: “Have you ever prayed to the night sky?/Under one of them cold street lights?/Watched another stolen car drive by and lost your hope and said "This is where I'll die". It is more a vulpine howl at the moon than hardcore bark.

An unfortunate consequence of the song title is that white supremacist idiots misinterpret the song as being about white power and pride. It is the opposite. It is about having pride in who you are, not what you are.

Any song which starts with the words “Fucking your pussy was like fucking the wound from a shotgun blast... With gangrene!” isn’t going to be a love song, and makes “So Common, So Cheap” the ultimate break-up song. “Some Kind of Hate” is directed at humanity in general. “Love Song” is still not a traditional love song. It is a tribute to brotherly love, and keeping an eye out for those in a similar situation to your own, and realising there is strength to be gained from it. “A Bitch Called Hope” could be a literal song about hope, or it could be a metaphor for addiction.

Musically, there’s nothing new here, but then it’s hardcore. It does not need to be new or inventive to be compelling. However, what it does do is express itself with utter conviction. The anger is real, because the injustice is real. Unlike a lot of hardcore guitarists, White Trash Rob created memorable riffs, around which a powerful rhythm section fitted perfectly. It’s not just rage and noise just for the sake of being angry and loud.

The legacy of the band has been soured somewhat by vocalist Buddha allegedly sexually assaulting a minor in 2012. He was instantly ejected from the band, and a statement was released saying such behaviour was absolutely counter to what Blood For Blood stood for. Obviously, the band lost fans for the perceived hypocrisy of a band railing against such abuse, only for a member to continue the cycle of abuse. However, those who looked into the band at anything more than just a superficial level knew it was White Trash Rob’s band through and through, and Buddha had merely been the instrument to convey Rob’s lyrics.

Most of us are fortunate enough not to have lived like this. It puts first world problems into perspective. However, it also makes you appreciate what you do have, and how fortunate you have been in your own life, even if things might not be perfect. There’s always someone worse off than you.
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Bosh66 wrote:
1 year ago
Was aware of this band but have never really given them a proper listen to. That I'll need to correct.
666sharon666 wrote:
1 year ago
Reviewer's Challenge points: 3

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