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The CLUAS Archive: 1998 - 2011

The Bleedin Bleedins

A review of their album 'Life Without Computers'

Bleedin Bleedins 'Life Without Computers'Review Snapshot:
This is one of those albums that not many will know about but will have you hooked on first listen. It has everything you would expect from an aspiring indie rock band - energetic bouts of instrumentation, a decent catalogue of songs and something that little bit different that makes them stand out.

The Cluas Verdict: 8 out of 10.

Full Review:
The Bleedin Bleedins - Barry Kelly (Guitar, Keys), Mike Coen (Vocals) and Dave Franz (Drums) - are a Boston based Irish-American band (Coen and Franz are both American, Kelly is Irish). Their songs have a familiar indie rock flavour  but add enough extra spice to keep you intrigued throughout. If you do manage to see past the Interpol and Franz Ferdinand comparisons, there is a cracker of an album here to discover.

Skipping along at a steady pace, the most notable thing about this album is that it flows so well. Never do you feel that one song should be positioned elsewhere. From the crooning opener 'Tonight' right through to the fast paced closing track 'Running Again', there is a consistency that sucks you in and spins you around. Sure, there are some songs that stand out more than others (Darkest Day, Override and The Lights Are Out), but for the most part it is an album that deserves to be listened to from beginning to end.

At the core of the songs is a stamp of identity that sets everything in motion for them. From the lazy yet sincere melodies to the snaring indie rock inserts, The Bleedin Bleedins conduct the proceedings with an atmospheric grip on everything. What sets them apart from the rest of the pack is a backbone of melodies and harmonies that retain your attention throughout. This gives the songs substance and layers that most bands simply ignore. Throw comparisons at them (I Love You But I've Chosen Darkness, Spoon) and label them 'just another indie rock band' if you will, but you can't deny them that shred of identity that makes them sound just a little bit different.

Blending in elements of lyrical candour with a raucous tempo, a song like 'One More Minute' perfectly sums up the sound of this band. The track begins with jarring guitars and a thumping drum beat before Cohen starts in with 'I've gone this far and almost made it / Without you / It's been so long it hurts to say it / Around you'. This is then followed by an off kilter time signature that revolves around twin vocals and that incessant drumbeat. By its end you feel slightly disappointed that it's over, so you just go back and play it again.

The nine songs on 'Life Without Computers' clock in at a  digestible thirty-four minute mark, thus not outstaying its welcome or selling the listener short. It is an enjoyable album that you will find being quickly elevated up your MP3 player playlists or spending a lot of time in your CD player.

Gareth Maher

(bullet) To buy a new or (very reasonably priced) 2nd hand copy of this album on Amazon just click here.