The Bled Silent Treatment

Starting with uninhibited opener "Shadetree Mechanics” and the razor-sharp "You Should Be Ashamed Of Myself,” the Bled’s Silent Treatment rarely lacks for the band’s impressive guitar interplay. But the elusiveness of their previous post-hardcore gems has mostly been peeled off in favour of a more streamlined aesthetic. Album number three is easily the Bled’s most focussed but that doesn’t necessarily make it their best. Two testosterone-laced rippers, "Starving Artiste” and "Beheaded My Way,” are emblematic of the set — direct, ferocious and never lacking for confidence or thrill power. Indeed, when the formula hits, it hits hard. But even that becomes problematic since this enhanced immediacy effectively eliminates the weighty bathroom existentialism that informed 2005’s Found In The Flood and, ultimately, made the Bled unique. Make no mistake, Silent Treatment is a solid, resolute record. But by diminishing the qualities that set them apart from their same-sounding contemporaries, it’s perhaps the Bled’s least striking effort to date. (Vagrant)