Ignore the misleading name: New Haven, Connecticut’s Bleached Black offers a unique brand of keen-edged power/punk pop. Hard and driving, yet sublimely melodic, the trio intermingles unusual influences (Buzzcocks and R.E.M., to name two), enhanced by the dual vocal attack of guitarist Stevo and bassist Greg Prior.
The indie-land debut, Wrist-Slashing Romance, suffers as a result of poor recording. However, what it lacks in production it makes up for with first-class songs. “Prey for Me,” “I Can’t Be Happy” and the raging instrumental “Chainsmoking with Nigel” are absolutely outstanding.
With crisp sound (production by Lou Giordano) and abundant tunefulness, Bleached Black is an excellent full-length debut. “I Was in Your Life,” “Chelsea” and “Circuitry Spiders” typify the band’s characteristic mix of energetic drive, alluring harmony vocals and modulated guitar roar. Bleached Black are honing a viable audio personality and seem able to write well enough to make even better records than this.