Bleach Boy

We start the evening with what I assume is a Seattleite-redux; the guitars and drums shine the brightest (I suppose being the loudest helps), all the while their brand of militant distortion devolving into a kind of sonic mush, whereby the vocals and bass suffer in the sense that… you can’t quite hear them. The lead vocal (such as on ‘Lonesome’) displays that when pushed it can actually carry the band, yet this is sadly seldom encountered and otherwise remains an unremarkable element.

Along with many other bands I’ve reviewed, Bleach Boy fall into the classic trap of repetition and formulaic indulgence (feedback wanking/taking your shirts off mid set?) that sadly doesn’t really add anything new to the Mancunian legacy. NOTE: That instrumental passage (I don’t recall the song name, apologies) that served as an ending for one of their songs was actually quite interesting; the way it slowly speeds up highlights at least some potential in this band.


By no means nothing new stylistically, this New York-based punk entity essentially emulates the fast-tempo hardcore playbook the likes of Black Flag have long since perfected; it still works! The lack of a bass player adds a covered-up-pothole-with-carpet quality to their sound; perhaps they want the guitarists to roam free, like a pair of blind drunks attempting to solve a complex mathematical equation, all the while dealing with worsening tinnitus that (somehow?) manifests itself into drum kit form (difficult to visualise?).

Chaotic musicianship aside, the most impressive quality this band wields is the innate ability to connect with the audience, the vocalist literally doing brief duets with audience members as if she were showcasing a fictional degree in ‘Audience Interaction’ (complete with a mapped out, moderately-questionable syllabus). The Henry Rollins-esque shouting style combined with her stage theatrics (attacks on the audience sadly not in occurrence) really spirit the Soup Kitchen denizens (well some of them) into a frenzied state of near constant moshing (who is Billy exactly?) as the band repeatedly churn out fast-tempo numbers.

Even though it does start to veer on the repetitive, their philosophy of being friendly (music and friendship forever?) certainly makes everyone present conveniently forget this ever common feature in live set-lists (it is punk, right?). Even at the end, when the show was done, the clamouring (stage punching, etc) of the gig-goers for one more song is answered when Surfbort oblige to indulge them for the final time; even though the use of a duo microphone technique is not used for it, it highlights that their audience matters to them, in some warped capacity.

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Angus Rolland

Recent career decisions have compelled me into the journalistic... thing; I could list my literary influences or even debate which 3rd rate beverage has the best economic value per litre (But I won’t). Oh, in addition, I write reviews for the Independents Network.