Review: Blood Command – Return Of The Arsonist

Blood Command came into my world in 2012 with their phenomenal second album. Since then I’ve seen them play a superb Nottingham show in front of next to nobody, as well as exploring their prolific recorded output.

The Bergen death disco outfit’s new EP, Return Of The Arsonist, means they’ve now put out three albums and four EPs since 2009. It’s their second release with singer Karina Ljone, who debuted on Cult Drugs in 2017.

Blood Command are a proper little punk rock gem. Their love of pop and hip-hop isn’t so much folded into their music as sprinkled on top, lending their unhinged, mathy, technical riffing an anthemic sensibility.

They make pop music for punks, and yet they don’t. Whatever it is, they’re excellent at it. And they’re back with new songs, which always raises a smile ’round these parts.

This wonderful 11-minute burst of noise begins with ‘Don’t Strike A Match, Use The Lighter’, a typically dance-worthy chunk of Blood Command oddity that tees up the brilliantly named reviewer’s nightmare, ‘S01E02.Return.Of.The.Arsonist.720p.HDTV.x264’, which continues both the momentum and catchiness of the first song.

That title(ish) track is right up there with this band’s best songs; in a better world, it’d be fucking huge.

‘No Thank You, I’m More In To Fake Grindcore’ pulses with energy and the kind of subtle, sarcastic aggression that seems to come so naturally to Blood Command.

‘Ritual Knife’ is a stomping, almost metallic lead-in to the final track, ‘Afraid Of Water’, which taps the brakes and allows the groove to take the wheel from the restlessness that defines the rest of this EP. It’s another song that would chart in better times, but thank fuck it’s here today.

Despite its brevity Return Of The Arsonist delivers everything I want from a Blood Command release. It’s loud. It’s fast. It’s infectious. It’s energetic. It’s completely bonkers and totally irresistible. Of course it is.

Return Of The Arsonist is out now on Loyal Blood Records / Fysisk Format.

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Chris Nee
Editor