The Bled (current line-up?)

I love me some damn catchy metalcore. Every Time I Die. Cancer Bats. Norma Jean on a good day. But we can always do with more of the good stuff to drown out the crap. I’m looking at you, Avenged Sevenfold.

Enter The Bled. Now I know what you’re thinking. “The Bled? Really? Surely, just another crappy metalcore band with nothing original and not a clue about how bored we all are with it.”

Wrong.

Now, it might sound like I’m writing about this band as if they were new, despite the fact that they’ve been around since 2001 and have released three albums prior to Heat Fetish. In fact I hear 2003’s Pass the Flask was pretty good. I’ll let you know.

The truth of the matter is that they all but are new; in fact they’re almost a tribute to themselves. Hard economic times forced founding members Ross Ott (guitar) and Mike Pedicone (drums), along with bassist Darren Simoes to quit or starve. Being the sensible chaps they clearly are, they chose their stomachs. I definitely would have done the same.

They were replaced by Robbie Burbidge, Josh Skibar and Brad Murray respectively, who were all fans of the band before joining. In an interview with Noisecreep, remaining guitarist Jeremy Talley spoke of the refreshing perspective this brought to the band. “they have a different idea of what kids like about our band, so its cool from that perspective,” says Talley. “We just wanted to make a record we’d have fun playing live.”

And it’s pretty damn fun to listen too. The music itself is pacey, the beats hard hitting, and the vocals are strong – think a combination of ETID’s Keith Buckley and Nick Martin of Underminded. Can’t be too bad, right?

No particular tracks stand out as such, but this isn’t for lack of good material. Being new to them myself, I’m not sure how these new members have affected their sound in relation to previous releases. I guess it may have impeded progress in favour of simply pleasing fans, but I don’t think it’s as calculated that makes it sound.

Plus, considering the band’s past financial difficulties, could you blame them? Pleasing fans equals guaranteed profit, and the album definitely has a certain spark, so maybe it isn’t even a issue.

Overall, I think forty minutes is perhaps just slightly too long for a metalcore album, but I’ll forgive them that. They’ve produced something extremely listenable, and I wish them all the best.

  1. Devolver
  2. Mouthbreather
  3. Running Through Walls
  4. Smoke Breaks
  5. Need New Conspirators
  6. Shouting Fire in a Crowded Room
  7. Needs
  8. Meet Me in the Bone Orchard
  9. Crowbait
  10. When Exiting Your Vehicle
  11. Night Erros
  12. Crawling Home

The Bled – Heat Fetish gets:

4/5 – Solid

– CG

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