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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.