Music

Bleeding Rainbow: Interrupt

Fourth album from Philly alt-rockers is short and to the point.


Bleeding Rainbow

Interrupt

Label: Kanine
US release date: 2014-02-25
UK release date: 2014-02-24
Amazon
iTunes

Bleeding Rainbow kick out the jams in a distinctly mid ’90s alt-rock fashion on Interrupt, which is no problem at all as far as I’m concerned. Vocalist Sarah Everton puts one in mind of Veruca Salt front women Nina Gordon and Louise Post, all elongated vowels and sustained notes, while the guitars bash away in the background and solos are thin on the ground. Tempos tend to be quick and songs are generally in the two-to-three-minute range, making for a fast-paced album that doesn’t linger.

Opening track “Time & Place” bursts out of the gate on a tide of energy and power chords, with Everton’s defiant-but-wistful vocals surfing above it all, a kind of statement of purpose that will be supported by the balance of the album. Follow-up track “Tell Me” deviates from the pattern enough to introduce harmony vocals from Rob Garcia, as well as a touch of discordance between verses, all without rocking the boat of the listener’s expectations too terribly much. “Start Again” leaves vocal duties to Garcia, whose more hoarse, less sweet voice lends an air of borderline hysteria to the proceedings. Wrapped up in it all is the band’s melodic sensibility, which manages to locate the sweet spot between a hummable melody and a thick swath of distorted guitar noise.

And so it goes. The heft of the record comes from its theme-and-variation experiments with the power-pop template that it lays out so effectively in these opening tracks. For every slightly downtempo tune like “So You Know”, there is a peppier one such as “Dead Hand” or “Monochrome”. Fans of elongated jamming or six-string wizardry will find little to love; the closest Interrupt gets to a solo is a bit of single-string twanging that matches the melody line here or there. But the band play with dynamics cannily enough, and are a rock-solid enough outfit all around, that the record rarely feels tedious.

The short running time helps too. The album clocks in at barely 35 minutes, so there’s not much chance to get bored despite the relatively limited sonic palette on display. Bleeding Rainbow are wise enough to break things up a bit with the relatively slow-paced “Out of Line”, a tune that also plays with the quiet-loud-quiet dynamic so beloved of ’90s rock bands. Meanwhile, “Images” cranks away like a leftover Elastica tune, and at two minutes fits the bill quite nicely, notwithstanding Garcia’s throaty hollering.

Interrupt closes with one of the best songs here. At nearly six minutes, “Phase” would be an epic in Bleeding Rainbow terms, but that’s misleading, as the last two minutes are actually an unconnected coda (remember the “hidden track” gimmick of the ’90s? Yeah, that’s here too). Nevertheless, Everton’s breathy vocals meld with the guitars of Garcia and Al Creedon to create a swooping stew reminiscent of My Bloody Valentine, and that’s no bad thing either.

If it seems like every band I compare Bleeding Rainbow to comes from the ’90s, well, that’s not a coincidence. Bleeding Rainbow are carrying the torch for the punchy, guitar-based bands of that era. Not exactly a throwback, they comes off more as true believers who just never stopped playing the music that they grew up listening to. The good news is that they do so with verve and panache. If they don’t exactly bring anything new to the table, they’re at least smart enough musicians to let themselves be influenced by some terrific bands.

6

In the wake of Malcolm Young's passing, Jesse Fink, author of The Youngs: The Brothers Who Built AC/DC, offers up his top 10 AC/DC songs, each seasoned with a dash of backstory.

In the wake of Malcolm Young's passing, Jesse Fink, author of The Youngs: The Brothers Who Built AC/DC, offers up his top 10 AC/DC songs, each seasoned with a dash of backstory.

Keep reading... Show less

Pauline Black may be called the Queen of Ska by some, but she insists she's not the only one, as Two-Tone legends the Selecter celebrate another stellar album in a career full of them.

Being commonly hailed as the "Queen" of a genre of music is no mean feat, but for Pauline Black, singer/songwriter of Two-Tone legends the Selecter and universally recognised "Queen of Ska", it is something she seems to take in her stride. "People can call you whatever they like," she tells PopMatters, "so I suppose it's better that they call you something really good!"

Keep reading... Show less

Morrison's prose is so engaging and welcoming that it's easy to miss the irreconcilable ambiguities that are set forth in her prose as ineluctable convictions.

It's a common enough gambit in science fiction. Humans come across a race of aliens that appear to be entirely alike and yet one group of said aliens subordinates the other, visiting violence upon their persons, denigrating them openly and without social or legal consequence, humiliating them at every turn. The humans inquire why certain of the aliens are subjected to such degradation when there are no discernible differences among the entire race of aliens, at least from the human point of view. The aliens then explain that the subordinated group all share some minor trait (say the left nostril is oh-so-slightly larger than the right while the "superior" group all have slightly enlarged right nostrils)—something thatm from the human vantage pointm is utterly ridiculous. This minor difference not only explains but, for the alien understanding, justifies the inequitable treatment, even the enslavement of the subordinate group. And there you have the quandary of Otherness in a nutshell.

Keep reading... Show less
3

A 1996 classic, Shawn Colvin's album of mature pop is also one of best break-up albums, comparable lyrically and musically to Joni Mitchell's Hejira and Bob Dylan's Blood on the Tracks.

When pop-folksinger Shawn Colvin released A Few Small Repairs in 1996, the music world was ripe for an album of sharp, catchy songs by a female singer-songwriter. Lilith Fair, the tour for women in the music, would gross $16 million in 1997. Colvin would be a main stage artist in all three years of the tour, playing alongside Liz Phair, Suzanne Vega, Sheryl Crow, Sarah McLachlan, Meshell Ndegeocello, Joan Osborne, Lisa Loeb, Erykah Badu, and many others. Strong female artists were not only making great music (when were they not?) but also having bold success. Alanis Morissette's Jagged Little Pill preceded Colvin's fourth recording by just 16 months.

Keep reading... Show less
9

Frank Miller locates our tragedy and warps it into his own brutal beauty.

In terms of continuity, the so-called promotion of this entry as Miller's “third" in the series is deceptively cryptic. Miller's mid-'80s limited series The Dark Knight Returns (or DKR) is a “Top 5 All-Time" graphic novel, if not easily “Top 3". His intertextual and metatextual themes resonated then as they do now, a reason this source material was “go to" for Christopher Nolan when he resurrected the franchise for Warner Bros. in the mid-00s. The sheer iconicity of DKR posits a seminal work in the artist's canon, which shares company with the likes of Sin City, 300, and an influential run on Daredevil, to name a few.

Keep reading... Show less
8
Pop Ten
Mixed Media
PM Picks

© 1999-2017 Popmatters.com. All rights reserved.
Popmatters is wholly independently owned and operated.

rating-image