Press "Enter" to skip to content

Every The Blood Brothers Album Ranked Worst to Best

The Blood Brothers were a confounding band. Were they hardcore? Were they punk? Were they emo? Were they even music? We may never know the answers to those questions. What we do know is that they released five nearly perfect records before parting ways at their creative and commercial peak, capping a wild and baffling existence that spread widely across genres and their opinionated scenes. You may be wondering how one would even rank the albums of a band so hard to pin down stylistically. Before you attempt to do so and get so frustrated that you want to ‘set fire to your face on fire,’ take a seat and let the professionals have it. Here is the definitive and totally correct ranking of The Blood Brothers’ studio output.

5. March On Electric Children (2002)

Remember how hard it was when you were transitioning from your awkward teens to your even more awkward adult years? You threw everything at the wall hoping something would stick to hopefully form a cohesive identity that was new and unique. It didn’t quite work, but at least you got to try on a few literal and metaphorical hats along the way. That is ‘March On Electric Children!’ in a nutshell. Its ideas are bold, but half-formed. Exciting, but poorly executed. Fun, but deeply disturbing. Much of the experimentation featured on this outing would only prove to be refined on future releases, making ‘March On’ feel like a rough draft at best.

Play It Again: “Siamese Gun”
Skip It: “American Vultures”

4. This Adultery Is Ripe (2000)

As a debut album, ‘This Adultery Is Ripe’ certainly stands as one of the boldest of its era. Melding all of the fringe elements of its adjacent genres, this record managed to introduce a highly influential and unique-to-a-fault sound to unsuspecting listeners across multiple scenes. Punk, emo, hardcore, and screamo fans all had something worthwhile to find on this one. And let’s not forget they had two vocalists, which left a lot of people wondering if that was even legal. If this were the band’s only effort, it would stand exceptionally well amongst even the most legendary of contemporaries. Fortunately for us, the band only continued to ramp up their output with very few exceptions from that point on.

Play It Again: “The Face In The Embryo”
Skip It: “Doctor! Doctor!”

3. Burn, Piano Island, Burn (2003)

A majority of Blood Brothers fans will tell you that ‘Burn, Piano Island, Burn’ is not only their best album, but possibly the greatest album of all time. We won’t sit here and call them idiots, but we absolutely do not agree with the sentiment. This is not to say ‘Piano Island’ is a bad album. In fact, as the band’s major label debut, the astounding and chaotic fervor it caused upon its release is likely responsible for its overblown reputation within the band’s discography. Where most groups in their situation start to dull down their sound to garner more mainstream popularity, The Blood Brothers dug their heels even deeper into their disorienting avant-garde stylings. Still, there are clear growing pains within the songwriting and production that make this one feel a little flat when observed within the context of their full discography.

Play It Again: “Cecilia and the Silhouette Saloon”
Skip It: “The Salesman, Denver Max”

2. Young Machetes (2006)

‘Young Machetes’ is hands down The Blood Brothers’ most dazzling album in terms of production thanks to the esteemed and guiding hand of Guy Picciotto. Every member is in top form as if completely aware it would be the band’s last effort. Unfortunately, this knowledge of the death knell is apparent throughout the record, as evidence of the band’s splintering tastes occasionally hinders the album’s progress. This is most jarring in the faster tracks that appear to play out just a few BPMs slower than they should have (Huge Gold AK47), and most gloriously effective when the band leans into their more groove-based tendencies (Spit Shine Your Black Clouds). Considering the break-neck speed at which the band operated during their ten-year existence, it’s completely forgivable for them to have been totally exhausted by this point in their existence. Their final album, though not without flaws, is a fitting goodbye and a perfect reminder that youth is fleeting and no one stays in their twenties forever.

Play It Again: “We Ride Skeletal Lightning”
Skip It: “1,2,3,4 Guitars”

1. Crimes (2004)

If we were ranking The Blood Brothers’ discography by album cover alone, this one would come in dead last. Behind the atrocious early aughts emo artwork lies the band’s true opus, however. This is the record where The Blood Brothers stood on the precipice of critical adoration and near-mainstream success and spit it venomously in the faces of all who dared to press play. Johnny Whitney and Jordan Billie’s contrasting vocal styles lock in for the most consistently satisfying interplay they ever committed to tape. A great reminder to listeners that two lead vocalists are completely warranted for an act such as theirs. Cody Votolato’s layered guitar work provides a cacophony that is as lush as it is volatile, while bassist Morgan Henderson and drummer Mark Gajadhar’s backbeats are so complexly dialed in that the former was eventually tagged in for Fleet Foxes’ lineup. This is without mentioning Johnny Whitney’s highly underrated Rhodes and synth playing that colors the entire record. If you find yourself scoffing at this entirely correct placing in the rank, we suggest you shut the fuck up and make your own genre-defying record and get out of our comments section.

Play It Again: You’re gonna need something to listen to as you compulsively bleach your hair again
Skip It: Absolutely not.