Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Finally hip to The Bloodtypes!

What's not to love about a high concept punk/new wave band that combines sci-fi and horror themes with blood-splattered attire and a sexy nurse motif? Ultimately, though, what impresses me the most about Portland's Bloodtypes is that their music is every bit as well-crafted as their shtick. Equal parts synth pop, contemporary garage, and '77 powerpop/punk with boy/girl vocals and surprisingly palatable prog tendencies, their sound is highly unique and a sheer delight to hear. You can't have a bad day when you're listening to this band. I'm embarrassed to have missed their wonderful debut LP last year - especially since bass player Jesse B Negative (Epoxies, Automatics) has been one of my favorite guys in punk rock for nearly two decades. I think I need to upgrade my scouting department! When I finally did become aware of The Bloodtypes (on a tip from Scott VonRocket), it took somewhere in between 10 and 25 seconds for them to become one of my favorite current bands. German expat Schneck Tourniquet is a talented and likable singer who combines icy European pipes with vibrant pop spunk. And while sometimes new wave inspired bands can come off a little too "cold" for my tastes, The Bloodtypes are pure fun and energy. There are not nearly enough groups like this in today's music scene! 

The Bloodtypes' latest EP, out on Bomb Pop Records, delivers "four new smash hits about spies in love, a special species of zombies, confused aliens, and failed dates." How can that possibly miss? It can't! "Johnny", the title track, starts with a melodramatic girl group intro before giving way to fast and infectious punk that makes me want to jump around in cosplay getup. Think The Rezillos on amphetamines if they'd landed on the Valley Girl soundtrack. Slowing things down, "Destroy The Heart" sounds like an epic love song until you realize it's about killing zombies (or is it?). "Alien Eyes" is vintage 1982 synth pop - like the best Missing Persons song you ever heard. And frenzied finisher "Don't Wanna" is as close as I've ever heard to a perfect marriage of new wave pop and hardcore punk (yeah, really!). It's a total blast - even if it brings back bad memories of my own failed dates. It's very easy for me to love this record, but far harder to decide on a favorite track! I'll just call it a four-way tie. 

If you, like me, have somehow managed to miss out on The Bloodtypes all this time, that situation needs to be rectified immediately. Head on over to their Bandcamp page for all kinds of factual enlightenment and streaming fun. You can listen to their album (it's great!) and get info on ordering "Johnny" on vinyl. I'm warning you now: resistance is futile.


No comments: