Debut LP from this Chicago band that is a new iteration of Broken Prayer. If you were a fan of Broken Prayer it’s hard to imagine how you wouldn’t be on board with Droid’s Blood, since they rely on a similar combination of noisy hardcore and whirring synth topped with Scott Plant’s trademark topical lyrics and distinctive vocals. Since 2016 Plant has been fronting Droids Blood, whose lineup also includes Broken Prayer drummer Nick Donahue. On their new self-titled tape, they vary the tempos more and even add some borderline poppy hooks, but there’s also lots of grimy, slightly industrial synth gunk and bass murk—”Unreality” sounds deranged in the best possible way. “As a rush of drums introduces Droids Blood’s debut album Be Free, you might think you know what to expect. Maybe some snappily energetic powerpop in the vein of The Marked Men, or even some Uranium Club-styed post-garage oddball punk? As the guitars kick in, however, all your preconceptions are reduced to rubble; smashed to dust and debris by a singularly powerful wrecking ball of chaos and darkness. Something immediately goes very wrong – and it feels so fkn right. This album was initially self-released on cassette by the band, earlier this year in their hometown of Chicago. Featuring vocalist Scott Plant and drummer Nick Donahue – formerly of that city’s pleasingly gnarly synth-punx Broken Prayer, whose sole album was titled Misanthropocentric A.K.A. Droid’s Blood, funnily enough – they make a whirling racket of post-punk noise, goth soundscape and beautifully bleak frustration illustrating the narrow line between aggression and desperation. If dystopia was a sound, it’d be this one. “Another world is possible / It’s possible, but how so?” growls Plant on the vitally urgent Capable, and it’ll make you wanna throw your Protomartyr records in the bin before hosting a ceremonial burning with a deathrock soundtrack. Familiar names will come up when you’re listening – Joy Division, Bauhaus, Iceage when they were good, Clan of Xymox in a brick fight, etc etc – and they out-pace and out-intense ‘em all. But ultimately Droids Blood uphold the fine traditions of all their city’s best punk by sounding like no one other than themselves. Just buy it, FFS.” Will Fitzpatrick.