Sometimes you just need an album to be crazy fun. Something you don’t need to think too hard about or be in a specific mood to listen to. Something that you can just put on in your car and crank up loud while beating the shit out of your steering wheel. Something like Mutoid Man’s Bleeder.
The trio consists of guitarist/vocalist Stephen Brodsky (Cave In), drummer Ben Koller (Converge), and bassist Nick Cageao. They’ve been referred to as a supergroup by most outlets, which it is technically, but I don’t know if I’d refer to them as such. Why? Because they manage to circumvent the usual problem with supergroups: more about the members, less about the music. Don’t get me wrong, some supergroups have turned out solid material like Killer Be Killed, but I (and many others I’m sure) remember similar groups more for who was in the band, not what they created. How has Mutoid Man avoided this pothole? By prioritizing kickass songs over fanfare.
Right off the bat, “Bridgeburner” tells you what to expect from the album: hooky vocals and nutso riffs. Honestly, some of these tracks could find favor with a more casual audience, ones who normally wouldn’t normally dabble in Mutoid Man’s associated acts. And yet, there is a complexity to these tracks that’s just not right out in the open. It’s a welcoming blend of easy to digest metal/hard rock flourished with metalcore/math rock’s twists and turns.
The only thing you could potentially mark this album down for is its length, clocking in at roughly half an hour. On my first listen, I checked my iPod and saw I was on the final track and thought “Wait, already?” Mind you, I don’t actually think the length is a bad thing. Subsequent listens have led me to the conclusion that the running time is just right: short enough to keep your attention and long enough to leave an impression. Plus, if you listen to the likes of Converge, then you’re already used to songs clocking in under two minutes anyway, so there’s that.
I referred to this album as “something that you can just put on in your car and go” up top. This is definitely a summer driving album, and those are always necessary when you want that extra “HELL YEAH” feeling on the road. Most of the tracks, with the exception of the title track, are like furious hit-and-runs that leave you bewildered at first, but then they leave behind a box of chocolates. Bleeder comes in mad, but damn does it go down sweet.