Parliament of Magpies Bloodstreams


A gelling of genres and political fury is the mind-blowing new single, Parliament of Magpies from The Bloodstreams. The London-based group returns with their second single of 2024 and has timely coincided with the upcoming general election.

Parliament of Magpies is roaring with post-punk energy and dabbles in elements of rock ‘n roll and psychedelic punk. It has the feeling of a more experimental Pixies with extra levels of production. The track treats you to a variety of tempos, stylings and vocal deliveries and feels like an all-round band contribution.

Parliament of Magpies opens up with scratchy guitar notes and classic post-punk bass exploration. The opening seconds explode into fuzzy guitar chords, haunting leads and theatrical vocal layers from multiple vocalists. There is an eerie sense throughout the track, like a fear of clowns; political clowns in this instance.

There are breaks in the track where elegant melodic moments burst in with the layered vocals singing out the track title. It’s not long before the fuzzy guitars assault the music once more, but not without the steady rhythms keeping a sense of normality. The vocals and fuzzy guitars feel like a Josh Homme side project such as the Desert Sessions.

Parliament of Magpies is a fairly short track as well clocking in at 2:47. It climaxes to an almighty halt. In that time though, the band treats us to some real post-punk versatility and reimagines the possibilities that a lot of indie artists sought after since the days of The Velvet Underground.

The bass is a key factor here as it climbs up and down and battles against the fuzz. The slides and thump add to the intensity in a different way to the vocals and guitars. The guitar breaks with the high notes that sound like the headstock being scratched are a defining part of the track. That sets the undertone amongst the grooving verse riffs. The organ later on in the track in the post-melody adds a sweet vintage sound. The closing moments feel so chaotic like the cogs of a clock breaking and winding down.

Parliament of Magpies is a real treat to the ears. There’s so much experimentation going on. Simultaneously there are engaging grooves and vocal layers. It is experimental rock music done with vigor and charm.