1) Mood To Kill
2) Lay Your Body Down
4) She Eats Flesh
5) Cold Again
6) The Calling
7) Dig Up Her Bones (Misfits Cover)
8) For Your Blood
9) They Live
The Bastards are a bit of an anomaly within the horrorpunk scene. First of all, the band has only two members, guitarist Jimmy Moon and vocalist D.C. Disaster. You may notice the lack of other instruments such as drums or bass. This is because all of the songs on For Your Blood are completely stripped down, with only a guitar, a voice and some liberal peppering of horror movie samples along the way.
Of course, all of this has been done. What makes The Bastards stand out from many of their contemporaries is the fact that it is a cross country project. The entirety of this album was written and recorded through email correspondence. And yes, I know many bands operate without being deterred by distance, at some point they usually do get together to do the recording in a studio. But that is not the case here so I was certainly intrigued by how it would all come together after being contacted by Disaster. All that said, I was ready to check out what the two were able to come up with.
Mood To Kill wastes no time introducing the laid back guitar of Jimmy Moon and the unique vocal stylings of D.C. Disaster. There is something incredibly enthralling about Disaster‘s vocals. There is an underlying current of anguish and hurt that runs through the entirety of the album. It could of course just be me, but it feels at times that you are listening to the pleas of a tortured soul. Before I go any further, I should note that these comments are meant in the best way possible. Not to take anything away from Moon and his contributions on For Your Blood but it has been the vocals that have kept me coming back to the album almost daily, even when I’ve been working on other album reviews!
The first half of the album feels very much like it was designed to build to the latter half when things get ridiculously good. That’s not to say that the first half is bad, more that the second half is incredible. The aforementioned Mood To Kill and She Eats Flesh are highlights of the album, and seemingly serve as the foundation for the second half. Starting with Cold Again, everything is stepped up a notch or two. Cold Again really highlights Disaster‘s vocal style and I am guilty of hitting the repeat button and listening to it several times in a row.
The cover of the Misfits classic Dig Up Her Bones is one of those rare covers which makes the song different from the original. Given that Bones is one of the most popular Misfits songs and has been done to death by bands everywhere, this has to be commended. It is yet another song that benefits from the vocal style on hand, which separates it even from the many acoustic versions done by the song’s original writer, Michale Graves.
Starting with an absolutely epic sample from the 1985 George A. Romero classic Day Of The Dead of Rhodes and “Frankenstein” going back and forth, the title track somehow manages to take the album to another level. I’ll be honest, the first time I listened to For Your Blood I wasn’t really into it, but after some repeat listens and growing to appreciate the laid back yet somehow pained style of the music, I became enthralled. And for my money, For Your Blood stands out as the song that encapsulates exactly what The Bastards are trying to accomplish with their music. They Live is by no means a bad song, but after the highs reached by the previous track, it sadly doesn’t get a proper chance to stand out as it closes the album.
With For Your Blood, The Bastards have tapped into a different style of performing music in a genre that is usually more about being fast and heavy. The music is stripped down to its most basic level, but armed with just a guitar and voice, the two musicians have created one of the best albums I’ve heard this year, and I look forward to what comes next for the band.