Friday, January 6, 2023

Full Length Review: Bloodclot "Souls" (Upstate Records) by Dave Wolff

Band: Bloodclot
Location: New York
Country: USA
Genre: Hardcore, metal
Full Length: Souls
Format: Digital, CD, vinyl (sold out), gold vinyl (sold out)
Label: Upstate Records
Release date: December 16, 2022
Those who are fans of renowned hardcore outfits Cro Mags or Both Worlds know John Joseph well, whether they’re from Manhattan, elsewhere in the United States or abroad. As the frontman of Bloodclot, he still espoused the P.M.A. mentality initiated by Bad Brains in the late 70s and early 80s. It is clear from Bloodclot's latest full-length “Souls” that hardcore is not only still changing and evolving on its own terms, but is also timelier than ever due to the persistent ways of the world around us.
Part of the NYC hardcore since it first gained attention in middle America, Bloodclot dedicate Souls to Todd Youth, an ex-member who appeared on their second full-length “Up In Arms” (Metal Blade) before passing away in 2018, and was part of the band as well as playing with Agnostic Front, Murphy's Law, Warzone, D Generation, Danzig, and Chrome Locust. Featuring ex-members of Bold, Sick Of It All, and Madball, the band maintains the family mindset by remembering someone they were close to.
Speaking to a new generation of punk, hardcore, and metal fans disillusioned with mass media, not satisfied with taking the apparent meaning of everything they're constantly bombarded with, Bloodclot communicates socially conscious ideas. A sense of disenfranchisement, dissatisfaction, and oppression ascertained by the disenfranchised is clearly expressed in their lyrics, without their displaying “mad at the world” sentiments or the stereotypical mindset fans of metal and punk are assumed to adopt.
I mentioned earlier that “Souls” is an example of how hardcore has evolved steadily since the new directions it started taking. The music keeps to hardcore's spirit while going far beyond stagnation. The music is loud, energetic, meant to provoke adrenaline, and takes a stand against society's folly, far beyond what early HC bands recorded in 1982. It's easy for fans of contemporary metal and hardcore to appreciate it, since its modern flavor draws from Slayer and Sepultura, Biohazard, Machine Head and Fear Factory.
The songwriting and musicianship, put together with the lyrics, pack the sufficient potential to break through the polarization media instills into the masses’ collective minds, challenging you to disregard what's expected to be accepted at face value and follow your own mind. With "Souls", you are compelled to escape complacency, to question, to demand the truth about the society weaned on reality television, new and improved cell phones, and fabricated social justice, without much effort needed to motivate you.
As for the music, it has all the influences from the bands mentioned earlier, along with a sharp, cutting, and abrasive production and a cover of a Bad Brains classic from their beginnings. As you listen closely, you can almost feel it scraping away at the contradictions and evasiveness that have dulled your thoughts, reigniting the rebellious spark of your youth, guiding it toward productive ends to prove it was more than just teenage defiance. “Souls” is available through Upstate Records, home to Leeway, Subzero, In Cold Blood, and a huge host of new hardcore bands establishing themselves. –Dave Wolff

John Joseph: Vocals
Tom Capone: Guitar
Craig Setari: Bass
Darren Morgenthaler: Drums

Track list:
1. Souls
2. Unhinged
3. War Castles
4. Save the Robots
5. Infectious
6. Relentless
7. How Low Can A Punk Get (Bad Brains cover)

Review of Bloodclot "Up In Arms" video by Dave Wolff
Review of Bloodclot "Kali" video by Dave Wolff

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