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Free Blood began as an attempt by former !!! percussionist John Pugh and fashion designer Madeline Davy to blend the impeccable style of Manhattan dance clubs with the raw energy of Brooklyn parties. The duo formed Free Blood in 2003, mixing noisy, percussion-heavy dance-punk akin to !!! with pop melodies and structures while keeping the instrumentation simple, focusing on bass guitar, drum machine, and vocals. Free Blood played live for three years, playing gigs with groups as wide-ranging as Suicide, TV on the Radio, and Melt Banana, and didn't enter the studio until late 2005, when they hooked up with production team the Brothers (aka Joshua Ryan and Eric Emm). They recorded the singles "Quick & Painful" and "Never Hear Surf Music Again" within a year, and laid down four more singles with the Brothers. In 2007, the U.K. label Adventures Close to Home released Free Blood's debut EP 1; that year, Pugh also left !!! to concentrate on this project. The group switched to Rong Music for its subsequent singles, 2008's "Never Hear Surf Music Again" and "Royal Family." All of these tracks plus remixes were collected on The Singles, which was released in late 2008 while Free Blood toured (with the Brothers as their rhythm section) and prepared their first full-length album.