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| FOUND IN THE FLOOD
1) Hotel Coral Essex
<< 3) My Assassin >>
5) She Calls Home
6) Last American Cowboy
7) Daylight Bombings
9) With An Urgency
10) I Don't Keep With Liars Anymore
| I’ve been a fan of The Bled for a very long time—not as long as some, but I’ve been psyched in white-knuckled anticipation for Found in the Flood for months on end. Pass the Flask, the band’s previous release, has been one of my favorite albums ever since I first picked it up, and I was admittedly a bit apprehensive about Found in the Flood for several reasons. In a little over a year, The Bled have gone through a change in bassists, producers, and record labels, and I didn’t know if that would change their sound to the point of me not liking it at all, or me liking it more than ever.
It’s certainly not Pass the Flask, but I didn’t expect it to be and you shouldn’t either. While Pass the Flask was marked by throat-rupturing screams, free verse, and the most vicious-delicious breakdowns ever (case in point: “Red Wedding”), Found in the Flood has James doing more harshly-delivered singing—not that the screams are completely absent; The Bled without screams would be like a theatre without actors. It’s less free verse and more lines written to fit the rhythm of the music, resulting in a tighter, smoother sound. Mark Trombino produced this record. In the past, he’s worked with Motion City Soundtrack, The Starting Line, and Jimmy Eat World, but don’t expect Found in the Flood to sound anything like that. The change of producers (Saosin’s Beau Burchell produced Pass the Flask) helped the band’s sound explode in epic proportions.
“Hotel Coral Essex” is cast excellently as the “hey all, we’re The Bled and we’re as dark, intense, and amazing as ever” track. “GutterShark”—fast-paced and worthy of the most ardent invisible ninja fight—and my [current] favorite, “My Assassin”, serve as stunning support tracks to the album’s opener. The Bled have turned all their notches up past 11, so the crazy-twisted riffs and roaring basslines have been amplified to unbelievable extremes. The drums sharply punctuate each beat, as intense in the harder tracks as they are in “Antarctica”. There’s proof in the next track, “She Calls Home”, so fans of The Bled’s notorious double-bass assault can rejoice.
I heard “Last American Cowboy” live at Warped Tour this summer. While I agree with most Bled fans that recordings don’t do live performances justice, this track is fierce like nobody’s business. It’s the best track to listen to if you’re craving more of James’ hybrid scream-singing, as well as a good minute reminiscent of the old record’s breakdowns. “Daylight Bombings”, a “Porcelain Hearts and Hammers for Teeth” for the new generation, eclipses earthquakes and hurricanes in its slow, deadly audible rendition of the Apocalypse. Not to be upstaged, the following track “Millionaires” is short and sweet (if you can apply “sweet” to something that sounds like you set Edgar Allen Poe on fire and stuck him in a blender). The aforementioned guitar riffs and basslines dominate “With An Urgency”, and it’s melodic to the point where it sounds like an uber-hardcore cover of an ‘80’s dance single. “I Don’t Keep With Liars Anymore” stellarly slaughters any preconceptions you might have had about what a perfect closing track might sound like.
The brutality is countless times more brutal… the softer parts are as soulwrenching as ever. The Bled have outdone themselves in ways I can’t even begin to describe, and any fan of this band would be out of their minds if they didn’t grab a copy of Found in the Flood on August 23rd.