Blood on the Wall is a lo-fi, Brooklyn-based indie rock band, influenced by bands like The Jesus and Mary Chain, Pavement, Pixies, and Sonic Youth. Band members include siblings Courtney (bassist/vocalist) and Brad Shanks (guitarist/vocalist) and drummer Miggy Littleton. They have released three full-length albums, Blood on the Wall (2003), Awesomer (2005), and Liferz (2008). Blood on the Wall are signed to the Brooklyn based label The Social Registry.
The band toured with Yeah Yeah Yeahs in 2006.
Blood on the Wall formed in 2001 when Courtney Shanks convinced her brother, Brad Shanks to move from Lawrence, Kansas to Brooklyn with the intention of starting a band with veteran drummer Miggie Littleton. The three began playing around the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn recording a single in April 2001 with the help of Hall of Fame drummer Dan Brown and Brooklyn based recording engineer Nicholas Vernhes. The two songs, "Waking Dead" and "Baby Likes to Holler", were issued as a 7-inch record with the label being credited as Rejoice/Big Deal 001. Rejoice being the Shanks' Vintage clothing store on Orchard Street and Big Deal being Miggie Littleton's used record store in Brooklyn, both of which sold the single.
The band came to the attention of the newly formed Brooklyn-based imprint The Social Registry in 2002, who began distributing their 7-inch and began work on what would be their self titled debut. Working with Nicholas Vernhes again at the Rare Book Room the trio recorded their first full length in a handful of days in fall 2002. The Social Registry issued Blood on the Wall's self titled debut in May 2003 on CD and LP.
With the release of their first record Blood on the Wall began to play clubs outside of New York City. Their first tour was with Black Dice which was followed by a three week tour with Enon in the Midwest. After the tour, Miggie Littleton took a hiatus from the band to play drums with White Magic. Drummer Dave Schneider filled in for Miggie for a few months, which included a tour of Norway with Norwegian band Silver.
After Miggie Littleton's departure from White Magic and subsequent rejoining of Blood on the Wall, the band took up a heavy schedule of regional appearances through the spring of 2005. The band then reentered Rare Book Room Studios at the beginning of 2005 to record a new record.
Titled Awesomer, the band's second record was released on September 9, 2005 by The Social Registry. With their second record, Blood on the Wall managed to garner praise in the press. Writer Brandon Stosuy in his Village Voice review suggested the record sounded as if "Mudhoney was covering Day Dream Nation". Favorable coverage followed in media outlets such as Pitchfork Media, Rolling Stone, Spin, Time Out NY, and Tokion. The band spent the rest of the fall on tour with Black Dice and later, with label mates Psychic Ills, ending the year by playing Pitchfork's New Years Party in Chicago. The band began 2006 by touring again with label mates Psychic Ills as well as doing dates with Ariel Pink, ending the spring with a tour with Yeah Yeah Yeahs and playing through the summer in NYC with Dinosaur Jr, Sonic Youth and, again, with Yeah Yeah Yeahs.
In September 2006, Fat Cat Records re-released Awesomer in the UK and Europe, bringing the band over to support the record with live appearances all through the fall 2006. Playing drums on the tour was Nick Gonzalazs as Miggie Littleton had just married and his wife was expecting. At the end of 2006, Brad, Courtney and Miggie entered Rare Book Room again to record their third record Liferz.
In the beginning of 2007, Brad Shanks left Brooklyn to return closer to home in Lawrence, KS. Courtney Shanks soon followed suit, taking an extended road trip which ended with her taking up residence in Los Angeles, California. Miggie stayed in Brooklyn with his wife and recently born daughter.
After a brief hiatus, the band released Liferz on January 27 on The Social Registry to much media praise. Enlisting Lawrence-based drummer Zach Campbell whom Brad Shanks had spent the year playing in newly formed Lawrence outfit Bandit Teeth, the band set out on a US tour which saw them playing with Black Mountain. At the end of this tour, Miggie Littleton formally left the band with Zach Campbell becoming his replacement. In March the band appeared at the SXSW Music Conference performing six times over four days, returning to the road in April for a full tour of North America.