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The Bleed: Take Back A Life
The Bleed: Take Back A Life review

The Bleed: Take Back A Life

(Melodic) Hard Rock
3.0/5.0

Some minor (or major, depending upon your perspective) clarifications to start: this recording was originally released 1996 with the artist/band as The Bleed and the album entitled Ouch! on the now defunct Rugged Records. It featured guitar hero and virtuoso Rex Carroll (Whitecross, King James, et al) collaborating with vocalist Tim Bushong (Lovewar). Riding on the grunge trends of the times, but poorly marketed, Ouch! was destined to the 'cut-out' bin. Fast forward to 2011 and the capable hands of Matthew Hunt, Retroactive Records rescues this (somewhat) interesting album from obscurity. It's been repackaged with new art work, new title, and a plug to the worthy guitar talents of Mr. Carroll.

I say 'somewhat' interesting in that The Bleed captures the raw, even radical, reinterpretation or rock that the grunge movement attempted even 10 years earlier to this release. The Bleed's sound, to these ears, is more lucid and fundamental than their peers Pearl Jam or Alice In Chains. But while gritty, Take Back A Life is generally unconvincing, as towards the late Nineties, even grunge was slowly become passe. What is convincing, however, and extremely intriguing is Carroll's guitar work. It has his latent blues feel, yet offers a grit and gravel sound reminiscencent of Seventies rock. It's unadulterated and substantial and, maybe, for some to raw to handle.

For raw hard rock in the the grunge tradition, The Bleed, featuring Rex Carroll on guitar, offers some interesting material, likely of interested only to collectors. Top picks: These Shoes, the more mild Let the Rain Fall Down, Take Back a Life, and Too Late.


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In Short

For raw hard rock in the the grunge tradition, The Bleed, featuring Rex Carroll on guitar, offers some interesting material, likely of interested only to collectors.

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