In the tags on their bandcamp page, Liana Hell Lean (the omnipotent force behind the essential entirety of homemade Boston experimental project Blood Club) writes “stop bedroom pop.” Fittingly for an album that flourishes in its ambiguity, Blood Club’s latest self-released album, CHRYSALIS, is an ambitious exploration of self and the darker, more esoteric musical capabilities of bedroom-grown sounds. If bedroom pop’s name is derivative of homemade sound and diary-esque lyrics, then surely the boudoir still seems an appropriate womb for Blood Club’s bedroom world/punk/experimental creations.
DIY in its purest form, CHRYSALIS feels like the liberation of aural capabilities of a manipulated voice, of synthesized beats, of unconventional live percussion, and of the eclectic integration of other (sometimes impossible to categorize) instrumentation drenched in a layer of distortion. Impossible to categorize is generally an accurate summation of Blood Club’s whole catalogue (dating back to 2014) and Lean as a creator themself, including some of their other older projects like Damn Bible. CHRYSALIS is supremely beat-based that stays warped and complex, perfectly showcased on “HEAT INDEX.” They are unapologetic and confidential; “To have peace inside myself / I’ve got to get outside myself” they assert with definity on the aptly titled penultimate track, “peace,” a chanted mantra and admission of Lean’s growth that we’re able to walk alongside. Perhaps the only concrete truth they offer is that nothing should be assumed about Blood Club. Assumptions would be missing the point.
Having had the privilege of meeting them in the past, I have the perspective to Lean’s work not only as an individually impressive piece, but also as proof of the the importance of maintaining a scene that offers safe, all-age spaces for expression. A frequent interstate pilgrim between New York and Boston, they actually just wrapped up a successful tour celebrating CHRYSALIS, but they’ve got one more show at the Banana Hammock alongside Maryland’s Snail Mail and very sick local acts Phantom Rides and Digital Prisoners of war. This is going to be their last show in Boston for an indefinite (and, probably, significant) period of time, as Blood Club is going to be worming its way into the Big Apple’s underground soon, so make sure you ask a freekadeek for the address and, as always: get to the gig.