Hmmm...an interesting band, these Blood Brothers. Having listened to Crimes several times and read the reviews for their albums on Amazon, I've concluded that there are pretty much three competing evaluations of their music and them as a band:
1. Interesting novelty
2. Genuises and innovators
3. Ghastly, disgraceful noise merchants who should be disembowelled and/or drawn and quartered for even attmempting to impersonate a band
And honestly, there's plenty of evidence here to support all three conclusions. Even in its poppier moements, Crimes can be one noisy, messy, and difficult album. These guys throw tons of different sounds and ideas at you, evidently in an effort to ssee what will stick, and the result throws together so many different genres that it practically constitutes a new one of its own. You've got lilting, melodic pop; thrash metal; noisecore; screamo, and angular dance punk, all mixed together with some truly wacky song structures and a dual-vocalist approach that will leave your brain working overtime to decipher everything. That may well be the point of it all, as the Blood Brothers demonstrate a Fugazi-style knack for working over both the head and the gut at the same time (and no, I'm not comparing them to Fugazi, so save your "not helpful" votes).
On tracks like Feed Me to the Forest, My First Kiss at the Public Execution, and the incredible Peacock Skeleton With Crooked Feathers, the band shows a dynamic range that runs from loud and fast to louder and faster, topped off by vocals that switch frenetically back and forth (one vocalist has a sort of baritone; the other sounds like one of the chimpmunks with a squirrel stuck in his throat) and backed by the maniacally jumbled drumbeats of Mark Gajadhar. Elsewhere, the band offers its frightening take on speed metal with Beautiful Horses and segues into something vaguely resembling pure pop with the deliriously catchy Love Rhymes With Hideous Car Wreck. Even better, they show a knack for real, actual songwriting in the album's (relatively) subdued moments; the title track and Live at the Apocalypse Cabaret showcase ear-catching melodies, surprisingly clean guitar tones, and all sorts of non-rocking instrumentation (check the liner notes to see who plays what and you'll get an idea of what I mean).
Ultimately, I wouldn't conclude that you have to be completely crazy to enjoy this album, but it might help to be at least a bit odd. Familiarity with, and enjoyment of, other prominent recent entries in the noise-rock field (Lightning Bolt, Death From Above 1979, the dearly departed McLusky, etc.) is also a plus. And if you like what currently occupies the musical mainstream, stay far, far away. Of course, if you're into mainstream music, you're probably not reading this review anyway. For everyone else, you never know.