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Blood & Batteries – Salient

Do you ever see someone at the end of the bar and they look, from afar, like someone that could get the blood pumping? Then as you get closer your mind screams silently, “Never mind! Abort! Abort! Keep walking to the bathroom!”


The first few beats of “Stray” from Blood & Batteries definitely had me intrigued. Then Rik Ahern opened his mouth and it was all over. On the first track, and without the overdubs and vocal affects, this singer simply falls flat. And it doesn’t get any better as things move forward, going from screaming to pleading “with you at my side / we can get along.” Actually, I’m not so sure. Lyrically there’s a lot of pain going on, mostly in the typical “love gone wrong” kind of way that’s been done to death, and it just kills it for me.

On the instrumentation side of things Blood & Batteries has some potential. But at times they seem to have an identity crisis, is it emo/screamo, is it industrial or metal (as their band’s name would indicate), or is it electro rock? I hate to label them in this way but how else can you realistically describe a style of sound to someone through words? They’ve got some scratching, some tranquil piano, electronic beats, harsh guitars, and the neighbor’s cat on fire thrown in. I’m all for melding a variety of styles together, but if there isn’t enough cohesiveness between them to make it flow together effectively, it’s not unique, it’s just chaotic enough to drive prisoners of war insane. And in this case, B&B’s sound comes off as confused and born prematurely.

Maybe if Blood & Batteries honed in on what they have going on with the “Treaty” track, pull in a new vocalist and let Ahern stick to backing guitars, or better yet, have him pull in some heavy bass rhythms to give them some warm groove, they could have something. But in the meantime I have to keep walking to the bathroom.

And on a side note, will someone pa-leese stop with the band names that have anything to do with scabs, the devil, blood, ripped body organs, poison, vomit, blood, snot, death, pain, and blood…for Christ’s sake, life isn’t that horrible and bleak. Dark and morbid names, black garb, and scowled face-folded arm-long hair-do press photos is not a federally regulated mandate to make an intriguing hardcore band.

These are the writings of one journalist and do not reflect the opinions of this station.


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