Bleach - Astronomy

Saturday 1st May 2004
Bleach - Astronomy
Bleach - Astronomy

RATING 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8
LABEL: Tooth & Nail TND84686
RRP: £12.99

Reviewed by Willie Hamilton

Chugging guitars, driving bass and drums and excellent vocal work are the hallmarks of this latest Bleach album. The solid quality of the playing hints that these guys have got a lot in reserve, as there is little on show by way of feature solos. The sum of the parts is, however, well worth the listen! There are a couple of stonking guitar intros, most notably on the melodic and anthemic “Living” which was an immediate favourite and also the album’s opener “Get Up”. What really sets the band apart is their consistently high-quality vocal work which, although unusual for such a hard-rocking band, is extremely effective (check out the Beach Boys influence on “Patience”, another immediate favourite). The production is as solid as the playing, with little by way of overdubs or unusual effects and a few changes of pace give enough dynamic to retain interest levels. The overall sound is, I imagine, pretty much what you would get at a Bleach gig. I reckon this band could enjoy mainstream success if they tempered their playing towards a more melodic sound but I guess their fans won’t thank me for that observation. Interestingly the album is dedicated to Captain Josh Byers, their brother who was killed last year in the war with Iraq. As he was the band’s number one fan, this is a fitting tribute.

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