Thing of the Day

400 Blows

August 25th 2011

Los Angeles alternative hardcore-flavoured three piece 400 Blows are back to treat you as their punchbag once more: six years on from their last album, so do they still cut it?  

400 BLOWS – Sickness And Health (Org Music)  - Interesting name for a record label that, sure we’ve heard it somewhere before haven’t we? Not us guv, another label did it, mind you, wouldn’t have minded this being out on Org if we was to be still doing that kind of ‘fing. 

 400 Blows  400 Blows then; four hundred blows all landing at once, relentless set of pounding blows delivered with clever dexterity and a whole lot of colourfully aggressive style. Six years on from their last album Angel’s Trumpets and Devil’s Trombones the compact Los Angeles band are back. They’re claiming they never went away anyway, all tarred and feathered but they stuck together... Complicated yet direct and to the point, killer rhythm section controlling the musical space with ominous colour, clever band, mathy tendencies in their hardcore flavoured 90’s alt rock - they have personality, they have a presence, a great big instantly recognisable finger print, a precise slice of positive aggression, pin-point confrontation, clean cut onslaught of short sharp musical punches, round after round, relentless, blow after blow. 

The spirit of bands like Helmet, Circle Jerks, Butthole Surfers, maybe a hint of the more aggressive side of Jane’s Addiction, those bands from a time where rock made a last serious stand. 400 Blows deal in big beats, they deal in musical power, the distinctive voice of singer Skot Alexander (with his touch of Jello), the revving engine of guitar coming from Scott Martin, and the always pointed jabbing punching drums of Kevin Fitzgerald; 400 Blows have a way of their own, a menace... Sickness and Health is an album that more than illustrates why we need bands like this.

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Here they are performing live on KXLU 88.9 FM Los Angeles:


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