Bloodclot qualify as a “supergroup” by just about every practical standard. Their bassist, Nick Oliveri, started his career as a member of Kyuss, and after he left that band, he and Kyuss guitarist Josh Homme formed Queens Of The Stone Age. (Oliveri was fired by Homme, in fairly explosive fashion, in 2004). Bloodclot drummer Joey Castillo was also a member of QOTSA; he played with the band from 2002 – 2012 (at which point, he too was fired by Homme). And Bloodclot guitarist Todd Youth was a long-standing member of old-school New York hardcore partiers Murphy’s Law, and also served with scene progenitors Agnostic Front and Warzone in those bands’ early days.
But Bloodclot doesn’t quite feel like a supergroup, largely because that all-star crew is ostensibly built around frontman John Joseph, best known for his work with the Cro-Mags, arguably the most influential NYHC band ever to walk the Earth. Joseph sang on three of the band’s five albums, most notably their 100%-classic 1986 debut, The Age Of Quarrel.
And Joseph is absolutely the focal point here. I’m not trying to diminish the participation of Joseph’s current teammates — they’re all monsters in their own right, to be sure — but this is a verifiable fact. The name Bloodclot has belonged to Joseph for three and a half decades now; even before the Cro-Mags formed in 1984, Joseph was known in the NYC punk scene as John Bloodclot. He’s assembled numerous incarnations of a band with the name Bloodclot, too, dating back to 1981.
The two most recent versions of Bloodclot (2007 and 2013) also featured killer musicians surrounding Joseph, including various members of Biohazard, Pro-Pain, Bad Brains, and Dead Kennedys, among others. But the current lineup is Bloodclot’s most muscular to date, and the band’s upcoming LP, Up In Arms, is a roaring, unforgiving beast worthy of its lineage while still being immediately relevant in 2017. Produced by Zeuss (Hatebreed, Suffocation, Earth Crisis), Up In Arms stands alongside any of the tough-guy hardcore bands inspired by Cro-Mags over the last 30 years, but retains some of the original’s magic, too.
The latter quality comes, primarily, via Joseph’s presence as a lyricist and singer. The track we’re premiering today is called “Kali,” and if you’re familiar with the Cro-Mags, that name might ring a bell: “Kali Yuga” translates from Sanskrit as, yep, “The Age Of Quarrel,” and it refers to ancient scriptures dating back to 3100 BCE. According to Hindu tradition, Kali Yuga is the era in which human culture descends into chaos. It’s the era we’re in now. (It lasts 432,000 years, apparently.) And regardless of your beliefs, it’s hard to argue with the notion that we’re experiencing a chaotic moment in human history.
But Joseph isn’t exactly a doomsayer, which makes his message all the more welcome today. He’s here issuing not a warning or a scolding, but a call-to-arms. As Joseph said in a statement about Bloodclot’s mission:
Look around the planet — people are fed up with the corrupt ruling class. They destroy the planet and kill millions for profit, and the formula for our response is simple: Anger + applied knowledge = results. Don’t just bitch. Change it.
Bloodclot’s music delivers on that formula loud and clear. Emphasis on loud. Listen.
Up In Arms is out 7/14 via Metal Blade. Pre-order it here. The band are touring through the summer with Negative Approach. Here are the dates.
07/14 Amityville, NY @ Revolution Bar and Music Hall
07/15 Philadelphia, PA @ Underground Arts
07/16 Washington DC @ DC9
07/18 Virginia Beach, VA @ Shaka’s
07/19 Baltimore, MD @ Ottobar
07/20 Belmar, NJ @ Paul’s Tavern
07/21 Brooklyn, NY @ Saint Vitus
07/23 Buffalo, NY @ Studio at the Waiting Room
07/25 Pittsburgh, PA @ Cattivo
07/26 Cleveland, OH @ Now That’s Class
07/27 Cincinnati, OH @ Northside Yacht Club
07/28 Detroit, MI @ The Magic Stick
07/29 Chicago, IL @ Cobra Lounge
07/30 St. Louis, MO @ Blueberry Hill
08/01 Denver, CO @ Marquis Theater
08/03 San Francisco, CA @ Thee Parkside
08/04 Los Angeles, CA @ The Echoplex w/ Nails, Final Conflict
08/05 Santa Ana, CA @ The Constellation Room w/ Nails, Final Conflict
08/06 San Diego, CA @ Brick by Brick w/ Nails, Final Conflict