For Fans Of
The Bled are unique. Many bands
try to find a healthy balance between melody and abrasiveness and they
fail miserably… but The Bled is one band that has a knack for writing
a song which is heavy but memorable at the same time. While “Found
In The Flood” (the band’s Vagrant Records debut) failed to live
up to it’s predecessor, “Silent Treatment” is every bit as amazing
as I had hoped it would be.
Opening track “Shadtree Mechanics”
is the equivalent to getting kicked in the face. Even on record it sounds
like Mike Pedicone is beating his kit within an inch of its life and
the almost mechanical sounding guitars are as punishing as anything
on “Pass The Flask”. At the forty five second mark the song somehow
becomes a melodious affair, albeit a really eerie one.
When it comes time for a band
to do press for a new record, you get the cliché answers like “the
heavy bits are heavier and the melodies are more melodic” but The
Bled have actually followed through on that promise because “You Should
Be Ashamed Of Myself” is one of the heaviest tunes the band has written.
I’m not sure if it’s the frantic guitar work or James’ unrelenting
vocals, but the song is intense.
“Threes Away” is another example
of the band’s ability to work a melody into an otherwise aggressive
track and The Bled have found a way to make the breakdown interesting
again. That’s right kids, take note, you don’t have to strum an
open D chord for a mosh part… you can actually play a real riff!
“Asleep On The Front Lines”
is The Bled at their atmospheric best. The first two minutes of the
song is spent building on effects soaked guitar parts. It’s hard to
believe that James is still capable of pulling off such gentle melodies
given his tendency to thrash his vocal chords but he makes it work.
The mid section of the song features a driving rock tempo which is strangely
catchy when you consider how aggressive the vocals have become and just
when you think you’ve got the song all figured out it moves back into
the same melodic territory where it began.
and “Starving Artiste” are two of the heaviest tracks on the record
and incorporate thrashy beats and machine gun like kick drumming to
great effect. “Some Just Vanish” is another standout track with
its not quite sung/not quite shouted chorus and the guitar fest that
is “Breathing Room Barricades” acts as a reminder of just how talented
The Bled’s axe men really are.
There was a lot riding on The
Bled’s third release, but I think it’s safe to say the Tuscon, Arizona
quintet have succeeded on all fronts. They’ve created a record which
is heavy enough to please long term fans but once which shows enough
development and progression to avoid repeating their earlier work.
- Shadetree Mechanics
- You Should Be Ashamed
- Threes Away
- Asleep On The Front
- Platonic Sleepover
- Starving Artiste
- The Silver Li