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One On One | The Blood Brothers

by Max Barashenkov / 23.12.2011

I woke, a fool of fools, folded into a couch at a familiar’s house. I was nineteen and smelled of piss and beer. Someone’s caring hand had drawn a red moustache and beard on me with a fat magic marker. I was, then, coming down from a street punk high, slowly phasing out the patched shirts and leather boots, flirting with the then-popular wave of screamo and, predictably, searching for a new flag to fly. My companions, who the night before beasted and thrashed in torrents of booze and virgin, roused all around me, shaking off the paralysis with bongs of dirty weed. Jaco, a quiet new acquaintance under whose roof we slumbered, beckoned me to a computer screen, packed me a bowl, giggled at my cough and pushed ‘play’.

Oh dirty noise! Oh sweet sex! Oh bastardly rock ‘n roll! Oh the glorious, glorious Blood Brothers! I have never tasted fruit that spoke to me like that and, for the coming years, this band will define me, fucking their way into my soul, impregnating me with spazz and post-acid poetry. I sat there, watching them freak out on the Jimmy Kimmel show, and knew that this was me, this was my banner to rally to. Every neuron danced in celebration, the manhood stiffened, the lips curled in a grin of a deranged man about to commit life-long violence. On the way home, my friends were discussing how driving stoned felt like a video game while I sat on the back seat, shell-shocked, still shaking and thinking of how to get my hands on the Blood Brothers records. And I did, oh I did.

Thinking back on it now, the fire of the Blood Brothers has barely faded. They might not scream from my speakers quite as often, but their tongues still howl strong and they remain the best band to have ever graced my ears. Ground breaking and experimental, with enough anger and energy to fuel a generation, they fused and fucked with genres and expectations. Every record was monumental, brimming with unlikely musical choices, every song contending for the ‘single’ title. Oh the raw emotion of ‘Jordan Billie Pets The Wild Horse’s Mane’ from This Adultery Is Ripe, oh that seductive line (“A carnie sold me two roses: one that lisped, one that hissed sugar foam and love song needles. I slipped them through your fingers, but they just crawled up both your arms and whispered…and that phosphorescent laugh dripped from your lips…they said, “oh teen ruby fiend, open those thighs, show us the urchin inside!’) of ‘Meet Me At The Waterfront After The Social’ from March On Electric Children, oh the lethargic despair of ‘Crimes’ from the defining Crimes, oh the casio-flavoured flick of the hips that is ‘Laser Life’ from Young Machetes. The list can go on forever.

Yet as much as their music drove me to abandon and some wrong but beautiful life choices, it was their words that mattered the most. The first time I read them, I knew I wanted to write. Their poetry seduced me, their language enthralled me, their imagery woke the imagination. I scribble in their shadow still.

*Fridays are One on One day at Mahala. One scene, one song, one image, product or design that’s made a real difference to you with its power, originality, brilliance or emotion. Tell us why it matters. Convince us it changed your life. Show us why we need to experience it for ourselves. Send yours in and we’ll publish the best. Up to 500 words. The best one each month gets R500 bucks. There are no rules. Write it how you want us to read it. Get involved.

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