Brooklyn New York’s Free Blood, a band formed in 2003 with influential roots in the art, fashion, and music circles originating there, are now ready to unleash their debut album courtesy of the new joint imprint between Rong Music and DFA Records.
Free Blood group came to fruition when former !!! member John Pugh and fashion designer Madeline Davy (Octopi NYC) found common ground and much inspiration in a goal of uniting the divergent settings that host New York’s dance and indie music: the Manhattan club scene (or an idealized version of what once was a scene) and the energized modern day bohemia of Brooklyn warehouse parties that have played host to many of their live sweat-soaked gigs.
NYC and Brooklyn equally embody the spirit of the group – their music is rooted in the leftfield enough to keep all who have followed them continually enthused, while the songs, with John and Madeline’s vocals combined, are larger than life pop songs at heart, driven by rhythms bearing the sonic thump of the best new disco and modern R&B. You could boil it all down to an electronic rock act, but that tag misses the point completely. The Brothers, who also produced the record, have become part of the band now, a bass and drum rhythm section that has added a whole other side of what the band can accomplish live. They have recently completed a tour of the United States with Hot Chip and have managed to make it overseas to perform live several times in the UK. While there, the band performed on Radiohead / Beck producer Nigel Godrich’s web & IFC music show “From The Basement”.
On The Singles, Free Blood showcase their unique style for synthesizing pop and avant-garde leanings with six original tracks and five remixes. The album begins with the first single, “Never Hear Surf Music Again.” Barfly (Rong’s own Ben Cook) contributes a head-turning remix of the track that at times calls to mind the Flying Lizards, another band that helped bridge similarly opposing worlds.
The album also includes second single, “The Royal Family,” and “Grumpy,” the track that was paired with it on the vinyl 12” – and both get stunning remix treatments. Free Blood producers The Brothers remix their own production work on “Royal Family” into a main room 4/4 floor filler, and disco edit legend Greg Wilson twists some dark magic into “Grumpy”. Tim ‘Love ‘Lee and Scotty Coats also contribute remixes.
It is the wild, widescreen rhythms married to Davy’s and Pugh’s use of combined vocals, erupting into manic call-and-response shouts like a pair of punk rock cheerleaders, that leave you rooting for more and racing to hear these tracks again.
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