Bleach – “Friends”

bleach friendsBleach is a British guitar-rock quartet formed in July 1989 by brothers Neil Singleton and Nick Singleton, Steve Scott and Salli Carson. Their debut recording was an EP, Eclipse, followed by a second EP, Snag, and, in 1991, a singles compilation, Bleach. The LP Killing Time appeared in 1992.

Bleach’s full debut album was a bit unusual — the lineup hadn’t changed a whit, Nigel “Chopper” Palmer still engineered and co-produced the album, everything generally sounded the same, yet somehow things didn’t always connect as they had on earlier releases. Arguably, part of this was due to a certain consistency in their sound, which over an album’s length became repetitive. This was something that befell Curve, to whom Bleach were often compared, at the same time. Both bands had a pumped-up wall-of-feedback approach that sounded pretty great, a key difference being that Curve used electronic rhythms in studio where Bleach had a regular rock band lineup, but whose shock of the new could wear off pretty quickly, especially if hooks weren’t as much in evidence. Carson’s alternately sweet and tart vocals sometimes got lost in the squalling Singleton guitars, but when they emerge more thoroughly, they often have a good enough bite to them. Her mantra-like approach of repeating key lines or phrases over and over, far from being boring, actually fits in well with the generally direct approach of the band. Individual moments stand out more than once on the album, making Killing Time something perhaps better listened to bits at a time. “Headless” is a keeper, Carson’s voice cutting through the noise as the Singletons hit the amps up pretty high, with guitarist Neil coming up with some strong riffs at points. “Push” has some equally solid feedback mayhem towards its end, while “Trip and Slide” and lead single “Shotgun” also have some memorable guitar activity to their credit (the latter also features an interesting semi-rap from Carson). When Bleach throw in some variations on the formula — the slower pace of “Paint My Face,” for instance — it also strengthens an unfortunately inconsistent effort. –by Ned Raggett

Bleach – “Friends”

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Similiar Artists: Moose, Blind Mr. Jones, Catherine Wheel, Silver Sun, Lush, The Charlottes

Styles: Alternative Pop/Rock, Indie Rock, Alternative/ Indie Rock, Shoegaze

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