review by Rachel LeBlanc
Being a Northwest CD reviewer, at least for me, is a bit like going on a blind date -- I’m set up with relatively unheard of bands whose CDs I give a listen to before I even research them. This way, first impressions based on their music are key rather than diving into their offerings with any preconceived notions formed in my head from their website pictures or other’s bias. It’s just me and the result of their labor.
On the day I was to go on my “blind date” with this week’s featured band, I was having a terrible time at work. My head was to explode at any moment, and I could feel my brain preparing to go on strike. Then, the sound of rumbling drums and frenetic violin burst through the speaker, and I knew this was going to be an interesting meeting. New Bloods have the sort of low-fi quality that gives you the idea that they could pick up any object and turn it into an instrument, or if nothing was around, let loose a cappella as in “Day After Day”; they sound like a renegade gypsy band, but one traveling to spread fun and sweep you into their harmonizing vocals rather than dispense with the bad mojo. It’s like you would find them playing on someone’s back porch in the warmth of a late August evening.
By “No. 17,” I was dancing in my desk chair, hoping my co-workers wouldn’t notice. It sounds as if everyone in New Bloods is having a good time, including the bassist whose bouncing, punk bass lines thrust forward. They sound at least fronted by a few tough chicks. So, I wondered, who was this band trying to court me?
Sure enough, there are tough chicks running this band -- three, to be precise. They call Portland their home, although judging by the extensive tour list covering Europe and the US, my nomad interpretations were not too far off. In fact, according to their blog they took a musical sabbatical during the winter to, of all things, travel. And in support of my “renegade” assumptions, these girls produce their music using drums, bass, and a violin -- no guitar in tow! Kill Rock Stars has picked up the trio, releasing the CD in discussion, The Secret Life. You can purchase this new release through the record label’s website, either on cassette or CD formats, because all the vinyl copies have been snatched up!