Hype can only get you so far, and if there is one thing that the Blood Brothers have right now, it's hype. Jungle Rules Live, the band's first and only DVD is released on the heels of a whole lot of press saying basically that The Blood Brothers are one of the next big things in punk, and rock music overall. It was also released to precede, and almost promote, the band's most recent studio album, Burn Piano Island, Burn. Some music is simply better recorded in the studio, and some music is better played live, and Jungle Rules Live helps the listener decide which maybe better for The Blood Brothers; either, it just depends on what you're in the mood for.
Recorded live in the Brother's hometown, Seattle, at the 10 Anniversary Party of the Old Fire House, which is, I'm sure, one of the first places that the Blood Brothers played as a band. Showcasing tracks from three of their albums (This Adultery is Rape, March on Electric Children and Burn Piano) the Blood Brothers tore through an eleven song set, destroying the stage, the crowd, and the ears of anyone with in a 3 mile radius. The explosive energy of this band live shines through like a nuclear explosion on the live part of this DVD. The fact that the show is in the band's hometown helps a lot I'm sure, but, it is a refreshing throwback to the early days of hardcore (Minor Threat, Dead Kenedys, ect.) with the bodies flying through the air and the screaming into the mics. Unfortunately, whether it is poor recording quality, or just the bands overall style, most of the vocals on the live tracks are lost in a sea of indiscernible shrieks, guitars, and distortion. The overall power of The Blood Brothers live can be seen in the visual display of the show itself, however, dual screaming usually doesn't translate well at all when it's done live, without the aide of production. As far as the band's live performance goes, they are borderline insane, but in a good way.
The three audio only tracks that can be selected and listened to, all from Burn Piano, allow the listener a chance to get a glimpse into the studio side of the Blood Brothers, as well as get a chance to hear some of the lyrics, some. If you're interested in finding out what is one of the next up and coming things in music these three tracks are worth the 7-8 minutes it takes to go through them (I'll give you a little hint: it sounds like really fast and loud garage rock). One of the best ways to evaluate this DVD as well as the huge difference in live and recorded Blood Brothers would be to compare these three recorded tracks to the live cuts "Guitarmy" and "Cecilia And The Silhouette Saloon" all of which are off of the new album. The studio cuts win.
There are a few things that are a bit troublesome with this DVD. Unlike a normal DVD it was released extremely close to the release of Burn Piano Island, Burn so it appears to be a wee bit too much like a promotional video that the public is allowed to consume. Also, the live tracks are only something a fan can love. This isn't really a DVD for someone who wants to be exposed to a new band, this is for someone who has already grown to love at least one of the The Blood Brother's studio albums or else it can't be fully appreciated (or understood for that matter). This should have been postponed until after the predictions come true and they are the next big thing, and then they could include a little more content then just a handful of pictures and a discography. Hell, you can get that on the band's website. I will make sure to give credit where credit is due though. No matter who you are, there is nothing greater than remembering your roots, so mad props to the Blood Brothers for playing a teen center to celebrate their anniversary.
Jason Cipriano is the Senior Editor. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.