In today’s swiftly changing music world reaching your third album is a significant achievement that suggests clarity in your sense of self as a band and the drive to succeed for long enough to release three records. For Tucson, AZ’s The Bled that time is now, with the release of their impressively diverse third album, Silent Treatment.
The fivesome, who formed in 2001 in Tucson, made a name for themselves in their hometown soon after they formed and began performing at small clubs around the city. In no time, they released their raging debut Pass the Flask on Fiddler Records, and eventually signed with Vagrant in 2005 and released their breakthrough disc, Found In The Flood.
Fast-forward through years of extensive touring that included stops in almost every continent, to The Bled returning home shortly after finishing Warped Tour in 2006. The band immediately began working on this new album – spending a significantly longer amount of time writing Silent Treatment than previous releases. This extended writing period allowed the group to fully expand their sound and ensure that every number received the attention it deserved and was, as guitarist Jeremy Ray Talley puts it, “the perfect amount of time to get the songs to sound exactly how we wanted them to sound.”
“It was the best possible situation for us,” drummer Mike Pedicone explains of the process. “We had five full months to write this record, which we discovered was really good for us as a group.
We needed that much time because we’ve got so much more going into our songs now and we liked having the time to really rehearse each song and pick the little pieces apart and put them back together again.”
After penning 12 songs The Bled entered the studio in March ‘07 with producer Brian McTernan (Converge, Strike Anywhere, Thrice) in Baltimore, MD, where they spent six and a half weeks tracking a total of 14 songs that were eventually reduced to the 11 charging, compelling tracks that compose Silent Treatment. Encouraged by the results of friends’ bands’ work with McTernan, The Bled elected to take advantage of the producer’s skills and positive work ethic in the studio.
The result is a record that embodies the best of The Bled’s work on the raw Pass the Flask and their more melodically-inclined sophomore release, Found in the Flood, while ascending their sound to a whole new level of complexity and melodic aggression. Silent Treatment also exhibits the skill and refinement acquired while spending months on the road with bands like Thrice, The Used, and My Chemical Romance. There is a resounding density to standout tracks like expansive opener “Shadetree Mechanics,” the comparably hushed, emotive “Asleep At the Frontlines” and the throbbing, head-splitting “Starving Artiste,” and the entire album seems primed for a dynamic live performance, with particular emphasis on the evolution of James Munoz’s inspired vocals.
“The songs talk about some of the fear and pain you go through when you’re trying to change things for the better,” says Talley. “The title reflects what we all have gone through as we’ve cut ties to situations in our lives that weren’t positive.”
“The pure, raw heaviness that we like to write and that we love to play onstage came out on this record,” Pedicone adds. “I feel like we found our own definable style of writing on this record.”
Ultimately, The Bled hope Silent Treatment is received on its own terms, disregarding generic convention or expectation, as the vigorous, vital record that it is.
“I really want people to listen to the record aside from these whole genre-specific ideals people seem to have,” Pedicone concludes. “People have this idea of what heavy music sound like, but I want people to listen to this record and really soak up what we’ve done. I think we made a great record.”