Analog Adventures: My Brother’s Blood Machine
The Prize Fighter Inferno
My Brother’s Blood Machine
(Original release2006, 2017 pressing)
About the Artist
The Prize Fighter Inferno is the side project of Coheed & Cambria leader Claudio Sanchez. Sanchez trades elaborate progressive rock arrangements for acoustic guitars, keyboards, banjos, and drum machines to create a wholly original work. The arrangements are far simpler than Coheed & Cambria’s work, often featuring Sanchez and a guitar. The album tells the story of the reincarnation of Jesse Kilgannon, a character in the Coheed & Cambria universe. Unlike the science fiction that surrounds the main story, My Brother’s Blood Machine tells far simpler narratives surrounding ordinary people but not so ordinary events.
Sanchez’s bleak humor and comic book inspired writing detail the happenings of Margretville. The townspeople deal with kidnappings, murders, and monsters around every corner. Based on the tone and timbre of the music one would never know that the subject matter is this horrific.
The Record Itself
My Brother’s Blood Machine is a playful sounding record. The variety of synthesizer sounds range from warm and fuzzy to staccato square waves. The album never truly nails down a singular sound or genre, but it has been described by Claudio Sanchez as a “folktronica” record. The folk portion of this portmanteau is evident in songs such as Our Darling Daughter You Are, Little Cecillia Marie, and Run, Gunner Recall, Run! The Town Wants You Dead! The latter of which features a harmonica solo from Travis Stever, lead guitarist of Coheed & Cambria. The poppier songs have a clear influence from 1980’s New Wave and pop music. This is most evident on the song Who Watches the Watchmen? The chorus harmony is accompanied by an analog synth.
“Stay with me to guide this dream, before they bury me. I’ll be waiting up all night for you, in a nightmare that was made for me.” – The Prize Fighter Inferno, Who Watches the Watchmen?
The album originally released during the height of the Myspace era, off the coattails of the success of Good Apollo Vol. I. The album did not see an immediate physical release until much later, and the vinyl pressing did not arrive until 2017. At this time in music history physical media already began its decline. Bands began to release digital music before physical pressings due to websites such as Myspace and services such as iTunes.
At the time this was the future of music. Physical media was a relic of the past, outdated and unwanted. CD’s were only meant for ripping to your home computer to put on your iPod and then sell at the Exchange. The recent push for physical media means that former digital exclusives are manifesting as physical special editions. This record in particular is stunning, with an outer jacket that displays a coffin cut out, detailed drawings of tarot cards, and a gorgeous gold and black swirl.
The inner sleeve and the gold and black swirl of the record.
Is It Worth It?
My Brother’s Blood Machine is full of variety and enjoyable from the first track to the hidden bonus song 78. Gone are the screaming guitars and thunderous drums of Coheed & Cambria; but the long song titles, rich story telling, and clever wordplay are still present. This album is not meant for a broad audience though. This is meant for fans of Coheed & Cambria that wish to get the complete story, or simply enjoy Claudio Sanchez’s writing. The record is absolutely immaculate in its presentation, but the scarcity has driven up the prices from the original asking price of $25 to upwards of $80 for a sealed copy on Discogs. If you are in search of a unique album and are willing to spend upwards of $80, this is a great addition to any collection.
- Our Darling Daughter You Are, Little Cecillia Marie
- Who Watches the Watchmen?