Release Date: Feb 23, 2010
Record label: Suicide Squeeze
Genre(s): Indie, Rock, Experimental
Though three-fourths of the members of Past Lives are from the scorched-earth screamo/punk-metal Blood Brothers, there's nothing on the group's debut LP that offers a hint to their background. The EP that preceded it, Strange Symmetry, had some more cathartic moments-- as well as singer Jordan Blilie's hoarse, tantrum-in-the-toy-aisle screaming-- but Tapestry of Webs is a clean break from the past. Say what you will about their former band, but by the end of their career, Blood Brothers were anything but one-note.
Past Lives’ debut album Tapestry of Webs had high expectations swirling around it, and not just because the band featured the half of the Blood Brothers who didn’t become Jaguar Love (Jordan Blilie, Morgan Henderson and Mark Gajadhar). With the addition of former Shoplifting guitarist Devin Welch and production by Steve Fisk, a lot of heavyweight names in the Pacific Northwest experimental rock/punk scene were affiliated with the project. That makes the downright melodic catchiness of Tapestry of Webs’ opening track “Paralyzer” -- which chugs along like a long-lost Cars track -- that much more surprising (and a pretty punk statement, in its own way).
The Blood Brothers were a post-hardcore group, one that flirted with the kind of popularity that groups like Modest Mouse has held down in spades. While most bands recording intricate guitar melodies, vocal histrionics, bombastic bass, and unpredictable drum tempo are dealt this post-hardcore designation, an unwieldy and emotionally unstable execution of these elements almost ensures admission into the camp. Unfettered chaos buckled together with technical prowess was part of the Blood Brothers formula, and they were able to garner a respectable degree of notoriety before breaking up in 2007.
Past Lives, spawned from the ashes of the occasionally exceptional post-hardcore band The Blood Brothers, is the hardest working band in Seattle. They show up everywhere, all the time. If a band drops off of a bill, there’s at least a 60% chance Past Lives will fill their spot. In the right setting and on the right night, they put on a pretty solid show.
Though they were best known for the breakneck tempos and blisteringly heavy riffs of their first three albums, by the end of their tenure, Seattle glam-core heroes the Blood Brothers were penning songs that were longer, more restrained and more deliberately paced. It should come as no surprise, then, that Past Lives, which is essentially the original Blood Brothers lineup minus helium-sucking vocalist Johnny Whitney, continue to push in that same direction. Just as Whitney and Cody Votolato’s new act Jaguar Love redeploys the Brothers’ glam chops in the service of dance music, Past Lives finds the Blood Brothers’ legendary rhythm section backing up measured, understated indie-rock songs.
Widescreen evolution from former Blood Brothers punks. Mike Diver 2010 Anyone under the impression that Seattle’s music scene sighed its last when Kurt Cobain breathed his clearly hasn’t been paying attention. Since the turn of the millennium, bands like Minus the Bear, These Arms Are Snakes, Pretty Girls Make Graves and The Blood Brothers – each spiky of riff, intelligent of lyric, and with appeal far wider than the punk pigeonhole – have helped to shape a new soundtrack to the Pacific Northwest.