Okay a little bit of background firstly.
The Bled are a 5 piece from Arizon, US. On the back of their fairly unknown record 'His First Crush' EP, they signed to Sorepoint records in hope of a little success. Whereas the EP seemed alot darker than the new record 'Pass The Flask' the lighter sound (yet still pretty damn heavy) had a good effect of the listners. Bagging tours with bands such as Alexisonfire, the record definately served them well.
NOTE Once again, i'm not going to pick around with iffy genres. Thats for you to decide what catagory you put them into, not me.
1. Red Wedding - The first track off the album, and a great one to show what the album is made of. When you look at the lyrics its such an angry song, but potrayed so well. It starts with a little, vague into that turns into a full force riff to the verse. James' vocals are throw in with coplicated riffs and outstanding drumming at times. The song itself ranges from fast to slow, until at the very end, therer is a strange fade out that brings in all the instruments (bar drums) distorted and used behind James screaming 'You Will Pay the Price, Close Your Eyes And Die'. Such a great intro to the album. 8.5/10
2. You Know Who’s Seatbelt - This is probably one of the most well known songs off the album, being one of the singles. It starts off with a simply ausome riff that continues through the most part of the verse and chorus. James' vocals once again are rather croaky, but work so well with the heavy background music. Theres also a really good breakdown that consists of a nice effect on the guitar repeated while James mumbles (then screams) 'lets set our hearts on self destruct'. the song fades out with a nice slow heavy tune. For a first listen, a good song. 8/10
3. I Never Met Another Gemini - A nice quiet into on the guitar like the start of Red Wedding, but it also explodes into a fast chorus with the vague sound of the riff still present. The song turns slower throughout certain parts but still has hints of fast parts. Around the 2 min mark the song turns really dark and slow. For once you hear James' voice singing rather than shreiking, and he has such a good voice when its quiet. His lyrics are once again rather strange as he
mumbles 'It seems the only way that I will ever feel alive, Throw myself into my injuries and close my eyes.' Whether or not you like slow parts in some hardcore songs, James' voice makes this a worthwile song to listen too and admire. A really good track. 9/10
4. Ruth Buzzi Better Watch Her Back - This song was included in a
Bled/Alexisonfire split with Alexis' 'Counterparts and Number Them'. Not the greatest song on the album, but the ending gives it a reason to listen. Having the track consist of some more great instrumentals and vocals, it builds up to the ending (like in Red Wedding's ending) to James shreiking 'I see the dead arise' in a voice that sounds like he's panicing (wierd i know, but listen to the track and you might get what i mean - itsd the only way i can descrbe it hah) until he finally ends up shouting 'Forgive, Forget, Relive, Regret'. An okay track, but in my opinion the latter half of the track makes it. 7/10
5. Sound of Sulfer - 'Waiting For The Sun To Set My Wings Ablaze'. The first line that is shreiked in probably the best song on the album. Its definately my favourite, the drumming is immense and all the instruments and every note or beat played work so well together. Its one of the more heavy songs on the album, and once again the complex guitar and bass riffs are present. It has a nice breakdown around the 1;45 mark, consisting of a few heavy notes played quickly, to have only a symbol played, to have the heavy notes back (and so on for a few seconds). The song ends with James repetedly shreing 'I hope they love you like I did when you needed me and I came for you that night.' Such a great track, really big reccomendation (Y) 9.5/10
6. Porcelain Hearts And Hammers For Teeth - The slow song on the album. But its not a typical sad song consisting of nice lyrics and a sad tune. No, instead we get James' usual strange lyrics (the first line being 'I'd burn alive to keep you warm when you're alone') and a really eeary slow tune till about the 2;20 mark. After that it kicks in with Angry vocals and trong distorted riffs for a while, before calming down towards the end. The last minute and a half has to be my favourite on the album with lyrics like 'Death is just an excuse to forget you' and the 20 second or so fade out of repeted shreiking 'I'd burn alive for you'. A slow song - ish. The same wierd-ass lyrics you'd expect from Mr.Munoz - definately. 8.5/10
7. Get Up You Son Of A Bitch 'cause Mickey Loves Ya - The shortest song on the album, coming in at dead on 1:30, and to be honest the whole minute and a half of it is just pure madness. Once again the instrumentals are stupidly good, and James had his token screaming lyric (near the end) of 'Forget the *** away from me'. Not a bad track though, a little too short though - maybe they just wanted to make a short immensely heavy track"" Iunno. Its not bad anyhow. 7.5/10
8. Spitshine Sonata - Or sometimes known as Spitshine Are The Industry, i was'nt sure which to use. Like the start of Sound Of Sulpher, James gets a chance to scream on his own before having yet another complicated/heavy verse. Around the 1:30 mark, the song calms down quite alot and dosnt get much heavier towards the end. The fadeout once again is an origional 30second spree of the same low chords played in the same pattern over and over. Gets a bit repetetive after a while, but its definately listenable. 7/10
9. We Are The Industry - The boldly named 'We Are The Industry' has to be one of the best on the album. There are some great lyrics here that are completely random when you look into it like 'Hi my name is ''yours'' ' and 'I'm sorry but your name is not on the list' (random, non"") The song itself is very strangely set out. Its only up until 2:45 that the song is intoduced to a single repeated guitar-picked riff that's followed by a simple drum breat and James repeating 'We are the industry'. James' repetition of 'We are the Industry' change after a while to 'The birth and the death' and this is what makes the song. When the best starts to slowly pickup, thats when the changes is made, and James' voice slowly changes from a mumble, to a shreik, to a louder shreik (que quitars in the background) to a heavy scream. It reaches a climax and the song is suddenly ended, and all that is head is the sound of something like a Television set on no channel (until about 10 seconds from the end the start of the last track starts to fade in). Such an amazing track. 9/10.
10. Nothing We say Leaves This Room - The last track on the album, and the intro continues from the last song. This song is really eeary, and i mean really. The guitars are used so well. One to finger-pick a quiet tune in the background and one to create a chorded/effect rif to create a strange sound. The song pretty much follows the same pattern until the end where James repeats his final lyrics on the album (with the eeary quitar riff in the background again) of 'Just between me and you I felt the rapture in your arms'. A great outro i must say, the final 10 seconds is a great ending to the album whith all the instruments (even James' voice) making a final exit. 8/10.
+ I Never Met Another Gemini
+ Sound Of Sulpher
+ We Are The Industry
+ The lyrics, some are disturbing, some a strangely funny but most are just simply great.
+ The instrumentals. Drumming especially at times.
+ The bands unique style and take on whatever genre they belong too and the music they produce.
- After a while songs can start sounding the same.
- The repetition of lyrics at times.
So overall, i really enjoyed this album (just my opinion). I thought the unique sound that they have produced seperated them from bands like Every Time I Die in my mind. If your into the whole Hardcore/Metal or whatever genre you'd like to put them in, then i'd highly reccommend this album and ask you to check it out before checking the new one.
Hope you enjoyed reading.
Overall rating = 4/5