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Bionic - "Black Blood" (CD)

Bionic - "Black Blood" CD cover image

"Black Blood" track listing:

1. I Got Skin
2. Learn To Love The Government
3. Black Blood
4. Q: Is There A TV In Heaven? A: Yes, Yes There Is
5. Sister Dynamite
6. Silver Jet Plane
7. Soft As Margarine
8. Econo Tusk
9. Freedom Now, Baby!
10. Temple Of Love
11. Theme For A Young Lion

Reviewed by on June 29, 2009

"'Learn To Love The Government' has some mild pretensions of social awareness, but is mostly an excuse for Jean Belanger and Jonathan Cummins to bash away on their guitars — and that's just fine by me."

Is Bionic's "Black Blood" metal-infused punk or punk-infused metal? When it's this fun to listen to, who really cares what it is? Whatever sort of beast this CD is, it'll set your speakers ablaze, bug the neighbors, and do most of the other things a great rock n' roll record is supposed to, with a few laughs along the way.

Things get off to a good start with "I Got Skin," with the obligatory punk rock "FUUUUCCCKKK YOOOOOUUUU!" at the chorus, sure to bring a smile to your face and a disapproving scowl to that of any parents standing outside your bedroom door.

"Learn To Love The Government" has some mild pretensions of social awareness, but is mostly an excuse for Jean Belanger and Jonathan Cummins to bash away on their guitars — and that's just fine by me.

The title track, "Black Blood," is an interesting exercise in slowing things down Foo Fighters-style, with some poppy vocal harmonies in the chorus that do Dave Grohl proud. There are some interesting bursts of noise that accompany the guitars on this one, and that use of non-melodic noise continues into the next track, the hilariously titled "Q: Is There A TV In Heaven? A: Yes, Yes There Is!" — to great effect.

The band's sense of humor comes through clearly on "Econo Tusk," and "Freedom Now, Baby!" Sure, the whole marching band/cheerleader chorus has been done to death (my CD collection has everyone from Faith No More to country crooner Brad Paisley employing some variety of it), but it's still fun.

Bionic definitely believes in saving the best for last, as the disc's final track is easily the best one on an album full of them. "Theme For A Young Lion" has superb guitar work that alternates between simple melodies and slightly jerky riffs, with a wonderfully wah-wah-soaked solo. I also dig the hand-claps and general sense of fun on this one.

Though the album doesn't have any bad songs, I'll bet most listeners will agree with me that somewhere around track seven, the eighth-note guitar chug starts to get a little old — but that's punk rock for you.

All in all, "Black Blood" is a solid release that will keep your toes tappin', your head bangin', and your parents telling you to turn it down. What more could you ask for?

Highs: "Theme For A Young Lion," and the slower "Black Blood," with its vocal harmonies in the chorus.

Lows: Things start feeling a little repetitive in the middle of the album.

Bottom line: A nice slice of metal-infused punk — or vice versa — that will entertain rock fans across the spectrum.

Rated 4.0 out of 5 skulls
4.0 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)