Bleach is the one band that I have grown the most devotion for through their six plus years of existence. From their good grunge beginnings with Space, to their great spacey techno rock of Static, they came of age with the awe-striking worship rock of their self-titled release. Now with three new members, a new label to call home, and yet another slight sound change, I'm excited to inform you that, Bleach is back!
When anticipating an upcoming album from your favorite group, you always hope for the best; that's understandable. But more than less, the best never seems to show up. A new album either doesn't hold a candle to the previous work that made you love them or there has been a transformation on all cylinders only holding on to the group's name. But with Bleach, the dream has come true. Vocalist Dave Baysinger and guitarist Sam Barnhart are still on board adding that Bleach touch we all love, while new acquisitions Jerry Morrison (bass) and brothers Milam and Jared Byers (guitar / drums) have inspired a mix of crunch and pop rock that knows no bounds.
Leading off is the bass-filled grunge of the aptly titled "Baseline" which gets this shindig started in perfect harmony while "Celebrate" adds a radio friendly resonance that soars to heavenly heights garnering a resemblance to the best that U2 has ever had to offer. If you thought emo was dead, "Broke In The Head" comes along and resuscitates a dying craze with a brand new reason to live as "We Are Tomorrow" crafts a perfectly catchy anthem that could fuel the drive for any adolescent's dream. "Fell Out" puts the nerd in "nerd rock" where Baysinger and Barnhart truly earn the Buddy Holly-esque glasses they fashion so well while "Weak At The Knees" adds a stunning catastrophe-filled track that veers en route towards hope. "Found You Out" beautifully mixes Guns N Roses and The Beach Boys in the oddest of great collaborations.
"Said A Lot" inserts another grasping melody that invades the mind and soul while "Almost Too Late" is, sadly, the only base hit in a seemingly perfect game. Sorry, guys. When I didn't think anything could get worse or dumber, "Andy's Doin' Time" comes along, and totally redeems the latter track. This is a ballad of amazing reverberation that pretty much gives a "shout out" to every immediate limb of each of the band member's family trees. Word up, word up indeed. "Knocked Out" follows and should go down in history as one of Bleach's greatest musical accomplishments to date where "Jen's Song" ends acoustically, slowly, and beautifully, spotlighting lyrically on Baysinger's wife.
Another step in the right direction, Bleach adds a radio friendly gem to their musical library. This is a further possibility at superstardom for five genuine guys truly deserving of all the accolades and honors bestowed upon them. It's almost cliché to say now but; true followers will welcome Bleach again whereas the unlucky few can have another chance to fall in love, for the first time. The rock and roll Jedi's are back!- Review date: 7/24/02, written by Blake Garris
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