They say you can judge a band by how much it collectively savours a good, greasy slice of pizza. They do say that, right? Probably. They should, at any length. If they did, they’d find Sydney punks (and cheese’n’pepperoni pie devotees) Bloods of immaculate character. It also helps that the trio’s debut EP, last year’s Golden Fang, is an impossibly infectious burst of short, sweet, bratty garage pop filled with girl group harmonies, influenced by the likes of Sleater-Kinney and The Stooges, and practically purpose-crafted for screaming into a hairbrush microphone.
“We’d released a few singles, but the EP felt like we were actually putting out a body of work we were happy with,” says vocalist and guitarist MC, who ranks releasing Golden Fang as last year’s highlight for the band – along with getting signed to Shock Records, sharing stages with the likes of Dum Dum Girls and Jeff The Brotherhood, and touring throughout the country in support of the EP (“Playing to crowds instead of three people, that was nice”).
Initially hiring out a house in the secluded Hunter Valley, time constraints forced Bloods to record the majority of the EP in one day at a warehouse in Marrickville. “We were an independent band at the time and we didn’t have any money, so we had to do it as quickly as we could,” MC says. “We put down four tracks in one day which, really, is pretty nuts, when you think about it. It was kind of hilarious – we hadn’t really accounted for the fact that Marrickville is a high air traffic zone. As soon as we went to record vocals, when you need some kind of silence, was exactly when the really heavy flight traffic would start. We had to time vocal takes between aeroplanes flying past.”
That sense of urgency comes through strongly in both the energy and immediacy found all over Golden Fang, as the band negotiates bubblegum pop aesthetics with exuberant, garage-punk effervescence.
Not ones to rest on their laurels – and dying to make 2014 as productive as possible after taking some time off – Bloods are currently preparing to head back into the studio to record what will likely be their debut album. “We’re really excited about it, we’ve been wanting to put an album out for ages. We’re going to be playing a few shows between now and the recording where we try out new material. Hopefully by April we’ll have enough songs that we think will make a cohesive album. We’re hoping it’ll show some progression from Golden Fang and still have the same vibe people seem to be digging.”
Regardless of how the band progresses in the immediate term, MC is adamant a few things will remain vital to the Bloods formula. Chief among these is the do-it-yourself attitude she says is the essence of the band. From designing the bulk of their posters and merch themselves, editing their music videos, and drawing on a small group of friends for assistance with things like photography and shooting clips, having creative control is “a big part” of who Bloods are.
“We determine what gets put out, and that’s something that’s not going to change. I think we’re one of those bands where all of our output has to feel right to us – we’re not really comfortable with people making decisions for us in that creative sense. We’re lucky that Shock was so great in that regard; they just kind of said, ‘Do what you like, give it to us and we’ll release it.’ We’re putting out who we are, and that’s really important to us.”
Another aspect MC says is likely to stick around is the trio’s unanimous affinity for a certain oven-baked Italian dish. “We’re pretty obsessed,” she laughs. “When we get dinner there’s never any question, and it’s always pepperoni, mushroom and olives. That’s just our jam.”
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