1) I’m Going On
2) Jersey Romance
3) Last One Alive
5) I Know Why
6) Under Me
7) You’re Welcome
8) Murder Mile
9) The Thrill Kill
10) I Want To Break Free (Queen Cover)
Robby Bloodshed has been kicking around the scene for quite a few years, amassing a legion of fans due to his tireless work ethic and constant popping up everywhere whether it be with his solo project, or any of the other bands that he works with, like Vagora or Children Of October. Earlier this year he released his newest solo effort, Leave Them Hooked, taking aspects from all the different experiences and musical genres he has ventured through.
Right from the start of the opening track, I’m Going On, you immediately get the feeling that this is music from an artist that has certainly matured over the years. The music across the whole album is phenomenal, and stretches across various genres. Arguably the weakest part of the album is the vocals from Bloodshed himself. While most music of the genre generally apes their sound from either Misfits or Blitzkid, Bloodshed has his own style altogether. To be completely honest, upon first listen I was a little turned off by the vocals, but as you listen through the album in full, it begins to come full circle and you start to realize that his vocals mesh so well with the music. It’s incredibly strange as the album progresses and the vocals begin to ingratiate themselves into the music more and more, and you realize it all works. I can honestly not think of another album where it grows as the album progresses.
By the time Senile rolls around the album and Bloodshed are fully settled in. Senile seems much like the turning point in the album where things move to another level. Under Me comes blasting through the speakers like a revelation, as does Murder Mile. It’s easy to say they hit another level as those two tracks, along with You’re Welcome are the most horrorpunk influenced songs on the album. Again, that’s not to say that the other tracks aren’t good, as that couldn’t be farther from the truth. But given that my personal influence leans towards horrorpunk, quite obviously those songs appeal more to me, and I imagine they will to fans of this site.
Following the continued build through the album, The Thrill Kill comes as the final original song on the album, and could have easily served as a perfect closer to the album, but that distinction goes to a cover of the Queen classic, I Want To Break Free. Some might consider it tacked on, but it’s obvious that it was put at the end as a tribute to one of Robby‘s bigger influences. It’s difficult to really review it, as Queen are undoubtedly one of the greatest bands of all-time, and the argument can easily be made that Freddie Mercury is one of, if not the, greatest vocalists the world has ever seen. Don’t get me wrong, I love Robby, but I don’t think there is a single vocalist in the genre today that can match the vocal strength of the late Queen frontman.
Overall, Leave Them Hooked is an interesting beast, showing a ton of versatility from Bloodshed as he grows as a musician. It will be interesting to see where the man goes from here, if he continues moving away from horrorpunk as a whole, or if he will embrace those roots on his next album. At this point the only one who knows for sure is Robby Bloodshed himself, but I can tell you as a fan I will be looking forward to seeing where he goes next.
Be sure to pick up your copy of Leave Them Hooked, as well as the rest of the Robby Bloodshed discography over on his Official BandCamp page, follow the man on his Twitter and throw a Like to his Facebook page!