In January of 2008, Brooklyn band Blood on the Wall released their third album, Liferz, the follow up to their awesome 2005 record, the appropriately monikered Awesomer.
The band, comprised of brother and sister duo Brad and Courtney Shanks and new drummer Zach Campbell, shamelessly mines the indie rock sound of the late 80’s and early 90’s, their prime influences being such suxh bands as the Pixies, Sonic Youth, Pavement, and The Jesus and Mary Chain. Whereas other modern bands borrow little bits and elements from these hugely influential bands, Blood on the Wall dive right into the sound as if they were straight out of that era and playing along as contemporaries to their influences. The result is one of the best homages to that era’s sound I’ve ever heard, and the band pulls it off without sounding like they are just copying the aforementioned bands.
The siblings trade vocal duties liberally from track to track, with Brad’s songs being more aggressive and funny, while Courtney’s songs come off as slightly more mature and thoughtful. At times, Brad’s nasally delivery eerily recalls the snarls and yelps of a young Black Francis.
Thick, chunky guitar sounds and some well-placed haze combined with solid, all out rock make this record an impressive and thoroughly enjoyable expereince. Standout tracks on Liferz include the title track, as well as “Hibernation” and “Rize.”
If you’ve been looking for a band that embraces the early indie rock sound without making it sound pretentious and/or a complete rip off, I would recommend picking up this record. Gordon, I’m looking at you. This is right up your alley.