The Bloody Lips – ‘B-Side Noise’
The Bloody Lips are here, and they are pissed. Like really unreasonably pissed. This band is the new incarnation of fast, heavy, aggressive punk in Grand Rapids. There’s no pop in their brand of punk, whatsoever. And it’s exactly what we need right now. They’re comprised of Krystal on vocals, Josh on drums, Taylor on bass, and Kole on guitar. Unlike the members’ previous projects, this one plays to something more personal and less political. It’s unleashing that pent-up, unspoken, rage that’s inside us all, but never gets to be exposed. On their debut album, ‘B-Side Noise,’ it seems to be The Bloody Lips’s objective to cut themselves and the listener loose from the dead weight that’s keeping them, and us, down.
The album opens with ‘Fisted Sister,’ a call out track to those that would rather simply complain than take action on the points that they preach. The line “swing your fists from home” illustrates a portrait of what some might call a “keyboard warrior.” Track 2, ‘Arrogance,’ continues that thought at breakneck speed. How being a know-it-all will eventually just push everyone away. The opening riff on ‘You Think’ gets me so pumped. It’s probably my favorite song on the record for its familiar feeling, and again calling out a leech. It’s also easy to yell along to that chant of “think I don’t fucking know!!” Coming in on track 4, ‘Lies’ has a totally killer bass line and even though the lyrics are delivered faster than I can sing along with, they’re discernible and catchy. ‘Too Late For You’ stands out as probably the most danceable track with it’s weirdly bouncy and surfy tones. I dig it.
Song number 6, ‘Noise!’ is where the album gets its title. It challenges the listener to use your favorite records as your soundtrack in doing something positive rather than hanging your head. ‘Opinions’ tells you to quit wasting your breath on complaints no one wants to hear. ‘Josh Is Losing Faith In Humanity’ is a 43 second continuation of the previous track with the lone lyric “I’m losing faith, losing faith in humanity” repeatedly screamed at blood-curdling decibels. The question of what you’d do under pressure with no one is left by your side, is posed on song 9 entitled ‘Panic!.’ It is both harsh and sarcastic and great. The album’s closer, and longest song at a whopping 2:37, is called ‘Abandon Me’ and it is a stand out. It’s about moving forward, moving on from toxic people. A perfect way to end a record… or start it back over.
The entirety of ‘B-Side Noise’ clocks in at 16 minutes and never for a second does the band’s sonic assault slow down. The Bloody Lips operate at one speed, supersonic. Each member’s’ musicianship is expressed with constant fury. The drums hit harder than any I’ve recently seen or heard. Literally, when I caught them live, Josh broke at least 4 sticks during their set. The guitar parts are punchy and exude the playful snarkiness of GR punk vet, Kole. Taylor’s bass lines are especially, crushingly thick across the whole project. And Krystal’s vocals are something special. Whenever I put this record on I wonder how her voice isn’t completely wrecked as it sometimes devolves into this otherworldly, banshee-like screech. The band’s chemistry is always evident and they’re clearly all on the same page as they sometimes force themselves into near blown-speaker territory. ‘B-Side Noise’ has me excited to see where these guys can go in the future. With fists and teeth clenched, I know I’ll be on the lookout with this album playing in the background.
B-Side Noise was recorded, produced, mixed, and mastered at Cold War Studios by Rick Johnson in January 2017 in Grand rapids MI. It was released on February 17, 2017 by Independent Fries. Additional guitar/noises by Bingo Handjob. Cover photo by Battwolf. This album is dedicated to Bill Hicks.