Sometimes, playing it straight just isn’t enough. Such is the case with the new Bleeding Rainbow album, Interrupt, a terse, tight, brash foray into emotive pop-rock. Clocking in at just under 30 minutes, the band says everything it has to in the first five songs and fills up space for four more. Coming less than a year after Yeah, Right, the band’s third release (but first under the new Bleeding Rainbow moniker) showcases the band’s sense of urgency, but also highlights the folly of rushing a good thing.
“Time and Place” starts full-on, with singer/bassist Sarah Everton channeling My Bloody Valentine for a quick second before settling into something more Breeders-esque in delivery. The song’s strengths lie in the jarring guitar riffs and abrupt mid-point change-up. “Tell Me” tells us right out of the gate that Bleeding Rainbow is deeply indebted to Superchunk, and they pay their respects with a cruncher of a track that will have heads bobbing in no time flat. Everton’s vocals are weak here, but Rob Garcia’s ability to hold a note provides a backbone that salvages the band’s penchant for layered vocals.
“Start Again” puts Garcia in the driver’s seat, and the angular, abrasive guitars make this angry tour-de-force an album highlight. There is a sense of frustration and urgency that Garcia channels that mixes nicely with the pessimistic harmonies of the pessimistic chorus as he chants that “it’s all over when you find/it’s so useless now.”
By the fourth track, the listener can no longer ignore the fact that each and every song seems firmly focused on highlighting how “alone” Everton and Garcia feel – a funny notion to highlight in a husband-wife songwriting team. As upbeat as the songs on this album sound, the lyrical contents are quite bleak throughout. There is a power and a purpose to the guitars, but a strange, almost disheartening emptiness to the lyrics.
It feels as though Bleeding Rainbow is seeking, in pushing forward with short, dynamic tracks, some sort of redemption. The songs on Interrupt are soaked in emotion, but not all of it rings true. There is enough guitar fuzz to intrigue listeners for a listen or two, but very little of lasting value here.