I’m honestly warming up to the idea of using this series to introduce you to new bands; after all, what description of the band’s music could ever live up to the band themselves talking about the influences which made it be? With Bleeth, fresh of the release of their debut full-length album titled Geomancer (it was released just last Friday, the 24th of August), it’s a double pleasure since I don’t just get to introduce you to a band but an excellent one at that. They deliver the kind of emotional doom/stoner/psychedelic that we’ve come to expect in 2018, replete with great riffs, moving vocals from two complementary vocalists, and an overall dedication to momentum that lies at the core of what makes this kind of music work.
Looking at the list below, it’s easy to see where that dedication comes from; all the choices below have a certain oomph to them, even if they come from some wide-ranging and disparate influences. Glassjaw, for example, is all about those thick, rolling bass notes and how they keep the track constantly exploding outwards and who does that kind of larger than life sound better than Marilyn Manson? And what band has a bigger and more iconic drummer than Def Leppard? When you bring those influences together, you start to see where the massive tone of Bleeth comes from, rolling on top of big drums and even bigger riffs. Check out their album below (don’t forget to click through to their Bandcamp and purchase it) and read on below for more insight into what makes a great band tick!
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Lauren Palma (guitar, vocals)
Glassjaw – Worship and Tribute
I first started going to shows in Miami when I was 14. It was a different world back then. I remember having to scour live journals to find out about shows, or save flyers or word of mouth. I’ll never forget the first time I heard this album. I was in the backseat of a friend’s car leaving a suburban house show where most of the night I’d been sitting on a washing machine of a packed back yard trying to get a good look at what, at the time, was my favorite local band playing, Waiting Theory. It was an incredible night, not a worry in the world and kind of just recklessly young. I remember packing into the back seat of my friend’s car and sitting next to who in the future would be my first girlfriend and “Cosmopolitan Blood Loss” came on. Sonically at the time, I’d never heard anything so dense. The guitars were melodic but noisy and the stops were brutal. The more melodic vocals seemed to take the edge off but still pack in the emotion. I watched her sing every lyric with a smile on her face and we listened to the rest of the album the whole drive home. From that day on, I must have heard that album on repeat for years. I feel like Glassjaw really was the beginning for me, getting into and exploring more heavy melodic music which I feel really carries into what Bleeth does today.
Ryan Rivas (bass, vocals)
Marilyn Manson – Portrait of an American Family
Oh man, it’s silly to think about it now but this album definitely had a HUGE (Trump voice) impact on me in my formative Junior High years. Only about 12 years old at that time, it was the mid-90’s in Miami and I practically spent all day at my best friend’s house. When we were weren’t paint-balling, skating or playing Star Wars: X-Wing on his dad’s computer, we were hanging with his dad’s secretary and office assistant. Mr. Ness as we referred to him, was about 19 at the time, and was light years ahead of us in terms of “coolness”. One day he saw that we were listening to Metallica on the radio and was like “man, I got to share some tapes with you guys”. He pulled out this old worn tray of CDs and home recorded mixtapes that unbeknownst to me, was soon to become a treasure trove of blissful audio madness that would shape me for years to come.
As he pulled out a Cradle of Filth album, The Principle of Evil Made Flesh, he said: “yeah I’m jamming hard to this album right now, but this one right here is the shit” as he popped in Celtic Frost’s To Mega Therion. I was literally blown away by the heaviness of this album, and the sick artwork, then he turned to me and continued with “yeah dude, the Swiss know how to rock!” We watched Beavis and Butthead, The Maxx, Aeon Flux and The Head episodes on MTV, it was fuckin great! Each time we hung out he played a different album from bands like The Cure, Bauhaus, Nine Inch Nails, Ministry and others in that sonic territory.
Finally, one day he played “Lunchbox” from the album Portrait of an American Family by Marilyn Manson as he saw me grin from ear to ear as the riffs rung over me. “Here dude, take my cassette player so you can jam to this album all you like”. I was ecstatic, the album felt so dangerous and rebellious to me at that time with its artwork and the crazy lyrics. I had to keep it all hidden away, jamming out to “Dope Hat” and “Get Your Gunn”. I would jump on my bed and rock out to it with my headphones on. Soon summer came around and I went to go visit my grandmother in Signal Hill, California. When arrived I left my trusty, Jansport book bag wide open with a clear view of my small tape collection. When my grandma saw the cover of the album she was extremely disappointed with my taste in music and the album cover in specific. She confronted me about Marilyn Manson, told me that it was the devil’s music and foolish of me to listen to such trash. After much back and forth reasoning with my grandma about me not worshiping Satan, I showed her my other albums. She didn’t like the Nirvana In Utero album cover much either, so I showed her a random track off the album Seventeen Seconds from The Cure which she found much mellower: “he has a really nice voice”. I sighed in relief and thought to myself: “there’s still hope for her yet!”
Juan Londoño (drums)
Def Leppard – “Foolin'” from Pyromania
I was born in a small city In Colombia called Armenia. At that time, when I was young, the music scene was growing very fast in my native town. The most popular genre that was emerging was metal, so a lot of bands from other cities came to Armenia to play shows and test the power of their riffs at the city’s local music venues. I was fortunate that my house was always full of instruments because my father absolutely loves music so naturally he collected such instruments over the years. I have two brothers who happen to be twins who play classic guitar as a duo, and they used to practice for hours on end practically every day; so their playing became the soundtrack of my childhood.
My brothers were my biggest influence and were my reference point for music; they showed me everything I knew at that time. There was a song that they showed me that I liked a lot; it inspired me to explore deeper into music. That song was “Foolin’” by Def Leppard. I found a lot of affinity with the drum sound, and it further confirmed my desire to become a drummer myself. I eventually found out that the drummer had lost his left arm, a fact which blew me away; despite that disadvantage he still a really sick drummer! This led to the first band forming when I was in high school; it was a hardcore band. At that time I was listening to a group called Strife which was also a big influence on me, especially the track “Blistered” from them. From that time on, I have been a constant explorer of music, I love discovering new sounds and different types of music; it’s what keeps me going and motivates me to create new stuff.