Wednesday, April 4, 2012

10,000 Blades

It's amazing what you can find bumbling around the internet. 10,000 Blades are a young band from Wisconsin,  I want to Hit You in the Head with a Rock is their second release. Over seven tracks the bands displays impressive skills that make it hard to believe they are in their early twenties.
The first song is "I Disagree With Randy Newman", and it bursts out of the gate as if the band is daring you to argue with them. "And I leave behind this coast tonight" Jon Stones drawls against a ramshackle fit of guitars and drums. The song is about L.A. "and your clouds are brown and it makes me frown, it makes me want to die." You can sense a little bit of youth in a few lines, but the song is packed with the kind of sheer humanity that usually only comes from years of  hard living. Stone continues his refrain about getting away from Los Angeles, and the song turns into whisper, before disappearing completely.
It's rare that a song literally causes my jaw to drop, but the second song "(The Cult of the) Red Berries" did just that. "Why can't you just be a person? Sunglasses don't make you a god." Stone sings frankly, in a slightly nasal voice against a mid tempo beat. Stone's words come out casually, but in a manner that makes them striking. "How could enough ever be enough?" sings Stone and the song ends.
Against a reckless wry  guitar Stone boasts "I think I might do som thing with my life before I die" as if he barely believes it himself. He sings as if he has just enough self worth to have aspirations, but not enough ambition to make his dreams true. Still, his eyes are full of wonder. He may think too much, but every couple days he forgets that he's afraid to be alive. Near the end of the song, "Fork Shirt", Stone decides he's going to fuck shit up, and a guitar solo is unleashed.
"I Sleep with a Gun" starts in a minor key, and the lyrics are stark real life: "I drink Cherry Coke for breakfast, I don't remember falling asleep. Stone drop his lines like has Tourettes, like he's saying the first thing that comes to mind. It shouldn't work, but it does, extraordinarily well. His neurosis builds until it's all encompassing, and he decides that "we'll get wasted and watch cartoons like all day."
Don't get me wrong not everything here works. The music is sometimes cliched, and occasionally the band's youth slips through. The thing is, Jon Stone is an unusually gifted songwriter. So gifted that it makes you afraid that he'll be found dead at 27 in a Chicago motel room. Let's hope that isn't the case. The music of 10,000 Blades is too good. You can listen to the record here.

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