Both metal and disco call for grand, theatrical gestures, big beats, outsized personalities, and plenty of musical and lyrical color. Fusions between aggressive rock and club music are infrequent, but when they’re created by visionary artists, the results can be explosive. Makes My Blood Dance is a group like that, and for the past five years, they’ve been reminding us all that the best metal always swings, and the best disco always packs plenty of muscle.
“Together Apart,” the latest single from the Brooklyn band, comes from the rougher end of their spectrum of sound. But no matter how much the six-strings squeal, they make sure every bar shakes and shimmies. The group’s unprecedented amalgam of symphonic metal, artful and ambitious pop, roughneck disco, and throwback classic rock has been fine-tuned and polished to complete seamlessness: these days, Makes My Blood Dance is better understood as a genre unto itself. If it’s impossible to tell where the hard rock ends and the dance music begins, that’s by design. They know that when the music is this good, the distinction is unimportant — and by the time “Together Apart” is done, they also know you’ll agree.
They’ve also got one other not-so-secret weapon. Raucous and reckless they are (it goes with the territory), but singer Evan Russell Saffer and guitarist John Polimeni are also expert melodists and compositional architects. Their songs are always impeccably built and constantly intriguing — they’re full of climaxes and releases and funny left turns. On “Together Apart,” there’s constant dialogue between Saffer’s vocal and Polimeni’s squalling guitar. A bridge melody becomes the basis of a guitar solo, which starts out lyrical and fluid and ends in a hailstorm of notes, and when Saffer re-enters, he sounds positively energized by his bandmate’s departures from expectation.
The “Together Apart” video is full of surprises, too. There’s plenty of footage of Makes My Blood Dance in action, and they demonstrate just how much heat they can bring to a performance. Guitarist John Polimeni rocks out on a Dean ML from Hell X-shaped guitar, with thunder and lightning drawn all over it – the same guitar that Dimebag Darrell from Pantera used to play. But they’re not always singing from stage: sometimes, they serenade the viewer from portraits on the wall of an Alice In Wonderland-like sitting room. And since this is Makes My Blood Dance, there’s plenty of choreography, too — energetic young women making their presence felt with deliciously provocative moves. And if you like knee-high socks on fetching girls, well, let’s just say you’re going to find this clip a repository of riches.