31 Songs From The 2000s
#2 “The Shame” by the Blood Brothers
A girl nicknamed Metal Sarah with the HIM Heartagram drawn on her shoes gave me a copy of “Burn, Piano Island, Burn” one night. At the time, I would use the Blood Brothers as a punchline around my more musical friends because all I knew about the Blood Brothers were the following: people on sites like Make Out Club and Mad Rad Hair were big fans and the Blood Brother screamed a lot and did not wear shirts. However, I took the CD assuming that it was going to be awful and apparently, Metal Sarah made a lot of copies to give to people. Then, I actually listened and by the time, “The Shame” came on, I got it. I dug it. I loved it. I wasn’t going to take my shirt off anytime, but I understood why people would. Metal Sarah quickly gave me copies of the other Blood Brothers albums: “March On Electric Children” and “This Adultery Is Ripe” and I was hooked. The best way to describe the Blood Brothers, is, like, well, it’s rather cliched. You know how they say if you don’t like the weather in such and such city, just wait five minutes? That’s the Blood Brothers. If you don’t like the way the song is going, just wait a couple of seconds and it’ll go in a completely different direction.
I’m not exactly sure how many times I saw Blood Brothers live. It felt like a lot of times. The Echo, Chain Reaction, Glasshouse, and I’m probably forgetting a place or two. I had three of their shirts and often, my friend, Laura and I would unknowingly wear our Blood Brothers shirts on the same day to History of Rock N Roll class. I want to say that I was able to form friendships through a mutual love and appreciation of this band. I loved this band. I loved the dual vocalists. I loved the sass at live shows. I loved screaming “Do The Shame” at every show and the moment when we, the audience were stunned that they actually did “The Shame.” It was pretty fucking amazing when they did “The Shame”. I loved the live shows and all of the kids standing outside, smoking cigarette after cigarette with their fancy belts and wacky haircuts.
The Blood Brothers are maybe the best discovery via a rule I have about music; if a song sticks with you, even only part of one, you must give the band responsible a second chance. An acquaintance from my freshman year of college played me a bunch of things early on in the semester. Most of the stuff he played me was noisy and terrible, and for a little while I thought the Blood Brothers were no exception. He had played me “Fuckin’s Greatest Hits”, and despite my immediate dislike, I kept playing the funky opening riff in my head.
The semester passed. I returned to LA with my tastes expanded exponentially. With the Brothers’ guitar lick still in my head I decided to give them another try.
HO-LY SHIT. The difference was night and day. Burn, Piano Island, Burn wasn’t reprehensible, it was a revelation. I started blasting it in my car all the time. “Cecilia & the Silhouette Saloon”, “The Salesman Denver Max”, “Every Breath is a Bomb” were schizoid monsters. Then, of course, there was “The Shame”, relatively subdued but still hiding a stick or two of dynamite in its coat. Then it hit that outro, that seemingly infinite climb of vocal overdubs unti-