REVIEW: Bon Iver – “Blood Bank”

It may not be one of the newest songs floating around, but this soft, echoing love song ticks all the boxes for me when it comes to acoustic/folk music. After finishing debut album “For Emma, Forever Ago”, which garnered a positive reception, the Blood Bank EP was released. The title track was originally written during the LP’s sessions, but didn’t feel right, and so was included here with three newer tracks.

The whispery vocals and lightly strummed guitars leave long extended pauses adding to the character of the song, and scratchy whining guitars subtly lay over the final moments of the song as it fades out. And although it seems to end all too soon, the imagery and storytelling is captivating without being overbearing and arrogant. It’s almost like you can see the snow lightly dropping on top of the car. It sounds incredibly clichéd, I know, but for me it’s just an extremely visual song.

Some say a picture is worth a thousand words. Whether that’s true or not, I know that Justin Vernon certainly doesn’t need a thousand words to paint an amazing picture.

Score: 8/10

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REVIEW: Rain Machine – "Give Blood"

TV On The Radio’s Kyp Malone released his self-titled debut solo album under the moniker "Rain Machine" in September of 2009. Though much of his sound can be likened to that of TVotR’s musical style, the exact opposite can be said as well, so it’s very interesting, to say the least, to listen to how he works without his usual band members beside him.

Malone’s distinct vocals mark the opening of "Give Blood" around light rhymic tapping. It doesn’t take long for the layers of messy guitars to come in and give the song a feeling of density and busyness. The chorus has something about it that hooks on, the simple repetition of the words "give blood" combined with the stomping drums have an appeal to them.

I’m not going to lie, "Give Blood" doesn’t sound at all like it would be out of place on TVotR’s "Return To Cookie Mountain" or "Dear Science" (despite them both being very different albums). It has that distinct feel to it that is so often present in his band work. This isn’t a bad song, it’s a bit of a grower (again, not unlike TVotR’s work is for me), and I don’t mind it. But it doesn’t sound good enough to eclipse TVotR’s work in this style (though it is good quality), nor does it feel different enough for me to be able to view it in it’s own light. Comparisons are unfortunately inevitable between the two, and they’re difficult to avoid when they have the similarities that they do.

Grab a free download on Spinner here.

Score: 5/10