Review: The Blamed

The Blamed
“Give Us Barabbas”
(Tooth & Nail Records)

This album has a great title.  Barabbas, murder/rapist, was the prisoner chosen by the citizens of Jerusalem to be released from prison rather than Jesus, who was subsequently killed on the cross.  Full of manic-depressive lyrics and a post-punk sound similar to At The Drive-In, The Blamed twist their way through a cacophony of distorted notes and guttural syllables.  While their herky-jerky style and pointed lyrics certainly won’t appeal to everybody, there is an undeniable energy found within “Give Us Barabbas” reminiscent of both Refused and even Fugazi.  The Blamed’s lyrics contain an unusual challenging forcefulness, often daring the listener to respond.  The first track begins with the snarled statement, “Our songs have no meaning if you’re not listening”-obviously an incitement and a call for attention.  ‘Fictionary’ combines driving percussion and slow finger-picking with haunting, emotive lyrics such as, “I believe we can change the world / Taking into consideration every feeling and emotion / I’ve seen you move my mountains / listening to my words / My story on that cold, dark night.”  So it’s not exactly Whitman but it’s not bad either.