Craft Beer. Heavy Metal. Fuck Yeah.
Blood Command – Funeral Beach
Admittedly, we probably display some tr00 kvlt tendencies in the way we talk about metal around these parts. And I’ll be the first to admit—I have some pretty tr00 kvlt tastes and, looking at my file of albums I want to review, the vast majority of them probably fall into the tr00 kvlt category in one way or another. That doesn’t mean, however, that we’re myopic in regards to the type of metal we’ll review on this site. I mean, I did write a lengthy piece about KISS (okay—a lengthy piece defending my decision to write about KISS which included a brief mention of their new album, but still) a couple weeks back. and all of this can probably be considered a preamble defending my decision to write about Blood Command’s Funeral Beach, which is catchier than head lice and absolutely deserves to be written about, tr00 kvlt cred be damned.
Remember how that Kvelertak album came out and blackened pop-punk became a thing? If there were a sub-genre of metal called metallic pop-punk, I think Blood Command would be its poster child. In fact, in a lot of ways Funeral Beach reminds me of the first Kvelertak album. Both bands play incredibly catchy brands of hardcore with more hooks than you’d find at a crochet convention. Lest anyone think that Blood Command is simply Kvelertak 2.0, though, there are several key differences in the two groups’ sounds:
- first of all, Blood Command sing in English, and as much as I hate to say it, that makes a huge difference in how much I’m able to get into them versus Kvelertak. Don’t get me wrong, the Kvelertak album was great (and they’re a fucking blast to see live), but it’s kind of difficult to sing along with the epic sing-along chorus when you have no clue what the hell the singer’s shouting about.
- second, instead of being fronted by a hairy, shirtless Viking like Erlend Hjelvik, Blood Command is fronted by a woman named Silje Tombre. Now, female vocalist doesn’t necessarily equal better band (and before you go Googling her picture, yes she is at least occasionally blonde and more than marginally attractive), but it does add an element to their sound that a lot of hardcore-esque band are lacking.
- finally, there’s a huge 80’s/90’s alt-pop influence on this band. I hear a lot of New Order in the arrangements (just without the Peter Hook-like bass lines), a fair amount of Elastica—little things that just make the songwriting that much catchier and your head bob just a little bit more when you’re listening to them. That’s not to say they can’t get heavy, like they do on the album opener “Pissed Off and Slightly Offended!” (even though she’s a dead ringer vocally for Kim Wilde among the heavier guitars) but they’re at their best when the pop influences shine through the hardcore, as in the single/video “High Five For Life” :
So to kind of wrap this up, if you don’t mind a little catchiness—not to mention a fair amount of fun—in your hardcore, check this band out ASAP.
Final Grade: B+