Album Reviews: Bloodclot ‘Up In Arms’

Everything about the group’s debut album is fresh and evolving. It embodies the driving energy of Cro-Mag’s Age Of Quarrel with some Eastern melodies and metal riffs thrown into the mix.


Genre: Hardcore, punk
Release Date: July 14, 2017
Number of Tracks: 12
Label: Metal Blade Records

Purchase: MP3 / CD / Vinyl

When hardcore frontman, John Joseph, isn’t spreading his Krishna-vegan credo or competing in Iron 500 competitions, he’s still tearing up the stage with iconic hardcore-punk band, the Cro-Mags. And while the Cro-Mags remain as one of the most influential bands in hardcore, they seem to have hit a dead end. Without Harley Flanagan or Paris Mayhew, the Cro-Mags are nothing more than a post-Cro-Mags karaoke fest with absolutely no new material to speak of. But we’re not here to talk about the Cro-Mags. John Joseph finds regeneration in his new band and supergroup, Bloodclot. This isn’t a joint-effort of hardcore-punk old-timers attempting to recapture the glory days. This is a collaborative oeuvre comprising of Todd Youth (Warzone, Murphy’s Law, Danzig), Joey C. (Queens Of The Stone Age, B’last), and Nick Oliveri (Queens Of The Stone Age, Dwarves). Now the group has released their debut album, titled Up In Arms, via Metal Blade.

John Joseph is one of the most seasoned singers in hardcore-punk. With a dab of soulfulness, he shouts and clamors his way through an attack of bold drums, shredding guitar riffs, and hammering bass-lines. His lyrics are politically driven through the left-right paradigm and straight to the corporate elite. But unlike listening Alex Jones’ radio show, I have yet to hear about the ‘frogs turning gay’ in JJ’s lyrics. That makes them far more convincing and tolerable. But politics aside, his lyrics are downright spiritual on “Prayer” and “Siva/Rudra.” He sings about the doomsday scenarios often espoused in various religions; as heard on “Kali” and “Soldiers of the New Babylon.” But while he may be a good singer, I wouldn’t exactly regard him as the driving force behind this band.

Oliveri is one of the most multifaceted bassists in punk rock, and you can hear his bass throb with vigor through the intervals of “Kali” and “Siva/Rudra.” His bonafides are rooted in Queens of the Stone Age and Kyuss, but he’s also offered up his bass-work in The Dwarves, BL’AST, and Svetlanas. Todd Youth introduces the album with a lengthy guitar shred on opener and title track, “Up In Arms.” If you listen to his guitar-work on “Kill The Beast” and “Slow Kill Genocide,” his revolving lead riffs strike a resemblance to Murphy’s Law tracks like “California Pipeline” and “Care Bear.”

Everything about the group’s debut album is fresh and evolving. It embodies the driving energy of Cro-Mag’s Age Of Quarrel with some Eastern melodies and metal riffs thrown into the mix. But that should come as no surprise considering the seasoned and diverse lineup. Hopefully Bloodclot won’t be a one time entity only to be obscured in years to come. Oliveri and Youth really brought this project to life. They kick off their tour with Negative Approach today, which hints at something more steadfast than a single-album collaboration.

Stream “Up In Arms,” “Kali,” “Manic” and “Slow Death Kill” below:

Bloodclot/Negative Approach — 2017 Tour Dates
7/14/2017 Revolution Bar And Music Hall – Amityville, NY
7/15/2017 Underground Arts – Philadelphia, PA
7/16/2017 DC9 – Washington, DC
7/18/2017 Shaka’s – Virginia Beach, VA
7/19/2017 Ottobar – Baltimore, MD
7/20/2017 Paul’s Tavern – Belmar, NJ
7/21/2017 Saint Vitus – Brooklyn, NY
7/23/2017 Studio at the Waiting Room – Buffalo, NY
7/25/2017- Cattivo – Pittsburgh, PA
7/26/2017 Now That’s Class – Cleveland, OH
7/27/2017 Northside Yacht Club – Cincinnati, OH
7/28/2017 The Magic Stick – Detroit, MI
7/29/2017 Cobra Lounge – Chicago, IL
7/30/2017 Blueberry Hill – St. Louis, MO
8/01/2017 Marquis Theater – Denver, CO
8/03/2017 Thee Parkside – San Francisco, CA
8/04/2017 The Echoplex – Los Angeles, CA w/ Nails, Final Conflict
8/05/2017 The Constellation Room – Santa Ana, CA w/ Nails, Final Conflict
8/06/2017 Brick By Brick – San Diego, CA w/ Nails, Final Conflict

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