Overall Score: 9/10 Songs: 9/10 Invention: 9/10 Vocals: 8/10 Pros: Brilliant music that feels fresh and makes you smile Cons: Virtually nothing
Blood Command are such an exciting band that they are the kind of band you’d be forgiven for getting annoyed with yourself for not discovering them sooner. Hailing from Bergen, Norway, a place notorious for its Black Metal scene, it’s safe to say Blood Command aren’t what you expect. Cult Drugs is their third album following on from 2012’s Funeral Beach and the first to feature new vocalist Karina Ljone.
I’m just going to say it up front, in an ideal world Blood Command could be the biggest band in the world. Dubbed ‘Deathpop’ they do so many things at once, and do them so well it is impossible to resist them. Managing to somehow meld punk rock, hardcore, dance and disco together and make it cohesive is no easy feat, but it’s one they manage.
Cult Drugs is an explosive album full of invention. It’s not a stretch to say there is nothing else like this out there. Album opener ‘ CTRL+ART+DELETE’ is a statement of intent right out the gate. Opening with pulsating electronics to that explodes into a hurricane of drums before giving way to an incredibly catchy pop orientated chorus. It’s a hell of a way to open an album.
‘Quitters Don’t Smoke’ takes the pop sensibilities and jacks them up to 11. This is by far one of the catchiest songs on the album, which should be a huge smash hit song. It just has everything going for it, a great use of ‘WOOOOOAAAAHH’ a guitar riff that will burrow into your brain and a disco beat you can dance your ass off to. It’s a perfectly crafted pop song that sounds completely at home on this album.
‘Nervous Laughter’ ups the riffs and strips back the synths, but still manages to sound absolutely huge. It has a chorus so big you could drive a truck straight through it. There’s a real life-affirming quality to it, that makes you want to wear out your lungs singing along to it. It’s the kind of song The Yeah Yeah Yeahs wish they could still write. ‘White Skin/Tanned Teeth’ is a white hot explosion of driving punk inside less than two minutes and is the albums heaviest moment. ‘Initiation Tape #1’ is a somewhat mellower comedown featuring screamed almost rap vocals in the verses with softer clean singing in the verses once again showing their versatility.
Put simply Blood Command are a brilliant band brimming with ideas. Cult Drugs is one of the years stand out albums. An album full of life and vibrancy that will surely take on a life of its own and hopefully propel Blood Command to lofty heights in the process.
Cult Drugs is out now on Fysisk Format.