The Bled have been around for a couple years now and have decided to re-release “Pass The Flask” on Vagrant with a plethora of new material, demos, and unheard tracks. The Bled mix a cross of structured metalcore with a sometimes erratic sounding music with the likes of Converge, old Every Time I Die, and Norma Jean. However, like I said they do have structure to their music as well as some blast beats and breakdowns to keep the whole world happy. Because of their unique structure, the Bled are not a band for everyone. However The Blend is something few and far between can pull off.
Lyrically, The Bled are very erratic from short bursts of hate to love to whatever else is on their minds. James Munoz, the vocal power of the band, will sometimes lead with vocal outbursts, but on many occasions he will let the listener sit back and enjoy all the aspects of The Bled. James has a great metalcore range, which can be found throughout the entire album, but is very apparent on songs like “I Never Met Another Gemini”. He seems to take from one of the forgotten greats of the later century, GlassJAw’s power horse Daryl Palumbo. The Blend is definitely for fans of GlassJAw style vocals. I think the vocals in this band are the reason for the comparisons to bands like Converge or Norma Jean. The rest of the music is structured. A great example of the erratic lyrical styles of James can be seen in “You Know Who’s Seatbelt” Here is a snippet.
The signal flares will light the way to the scene of the accident, where we’ll dance like a pile of teeth in a broken mouth. Such a sick celebration. Everyone loves a fucking tragedy in epic proportions. Let’s set our hearts at self-destruct.
Musically, the rest of the band pulls off some great riffs and some powerful, heartfelt grooves. Jeremy Talley and Ross Ott are a great duo on guitars throughout the entire record. Although the album tends to stay away from solos for the most part, everything is perfection. This is the first full-length album from The Bled and it sounds like it could be a 4th or 5th album from other bands because the whole band flows so well together. Add in Darren Simoes on bass and you have a power trio creating the setting for a great drummer in Michael Pedicone.
The Bled does not try to break any new boundaries and I think this leads to much of their success. Instead of trying to copy hundreds of other acts directly or trying to reinvent the wheel, The Bled just do what they do best: make solid metal music. Everything flows perfectly. If you are picking this album up for the first time, after you get this I would strongly recommend running down to your local CD store to pick up “Found In The Flood”, their second full length. It is just as good if not even tighter sounding. The Bled hopefully have many more years of great music to come and a new album is coming in 2007 as well. As for this re-release, if you already own “Pass The Flask” I still would pick it up because it has 11 new tracks from what is most likely one of your favorite bands.
01. Red Wedding
02. You Know Who’s Seatbelt
03. I Never Met Another Gemini
04. Ruth Buzzi Better Watch Her Back
05. Sound Of Sulfur
06. Porcelain Hearts And Hammers For Teeth
07. Get Up You Son Of A Bitch, Cause Mickey Loves Ya
08. Spitshine Sonata
09. We Are The Industry
10. Nothing We Say Leaves This Room
11. His First Crush
12. Anvil Pinata
13. Swatting Flies With A Wrecking Ball
15. F Is For Forensics
16. John Wayne Newton
18. My Cyanide Catharsis (Featuring Emily Long)
19. Ok, But Here’s How It Really Happened
20. Hotel Coral Essex