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Album Review: The Bled - 'Silent Treatment'

3 October 2007 | 6:49 pm | Staff Writer
Originally Appeared In

Someone made the breakdown interesting again…

More The Bled More The Bled

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

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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. 

“Platonic Sleepover Massacre”

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. 

  1. Shadetree Mechanics
  2. You Should Be Ashamed

    Of Myself

  3. Threes Away
  4. Asleep On The Front


  5. Platonic Sleepover


  6. Starving Artiste
  7. The Silver Li