New Bloods Thrill, Albeit Briefly

Apr. 21, 2008
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Two months? How was I going to be able to wait two whole months until the release of the New Bloods album so I could finally write about it? I was so smitten with the band’s debut album, The Secret Life, that putting off my review of it made me feel like a kid waiting for Christmas.

Of course, two months came and went, but after the album had been sitting untouched on my desk for weeks, I was no longer particularly interested in reviewing it. This could speak to how fickle critics like me can be—we now tire of potential buzz bands before their albums even come out; we’re just that jaded—but listening to The Secret Life again, I’ve got to believe my disinterest is more a commentary on the album itself.

New Bloods certainly make an impression—as a harmonizing three-woman trio with primal, almost tribal drums and a piercing, rusty violin in lieu of the usual guitar, how can they not? But once the initial thrill wears off, there isn’t much left. At its best, The Secret Life evokes the primal mess of post-punk groups like The Slits and the Pop Group and the raw, call-to-arms rallies of early riot grrrls like Bratmobile and Bikini Kill, but the songs are too sloppy and slight to sustain even a 23-minute album.

Oh well. Any band that makes such a bold impression, however short-lived, is still worth checking out. Here’s a clever video for their latest single, “Doubles.”

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