The Bleeders - A Bleeding Heart (Cover Artwork)

The Bleeders

A Bleeding Heart (2003)


The members of the Bleeders have all had vast experience as part of the New Zealand punk/hardcore scene in such acts as DSM, Evil Priest, Malcontent, Smooth Jimmies, Kid Nuisance and AOV. They have supported international names such as Hot Water Music, Good Riddance, Strung Out, Sick of It All, the Ataris and the Hope Conspiracy. They even played a show with the Misfits in late 2005 in London, a band who the Bleeders claim as a huge influence.

Their 2003 EP, A Bleeding Heart consists of seven tracks of fast, catchy punk rock tunes with a hint of hardcore mixed in, present no doubt due to the members' previous experience in the genre. It starts off with an instrumental intro, "Bad News," which pretty much gives you a fair idea of what to expect from the rest of the EP: fast drums, mean guitar solos and catchy basslines. There are occasional breakdowns but they're never long enough to slow the pace of the song.

Track 2 was originally my personal favourite of the release, "Chanelling." This track starts off with a mad guitar intro before the drums come in at a pace reminding me of very early Pennywise. And this of course is the first we hear of Angelo Munro's vocals, which cannot be flawed. They suit this music perfectly. Track 4, "Cast in the Shadows" is great, with very effective backup vocals in the first verse, a super catchy chorus, and exquisite breakdowns throughout. Next up is the EP's first single, "All That Glitters," which received extensive radio and TV play in NZ. This song is pure energy, fast and loud, but also one of the poppier songs on the release. This is followed in contrast by the shortest, fastest, and darkest track on the album, "It's Black," which is a song that can definitely be thrown in the hardcore category. It's a track that could easily be mistaken for something off one of Bane's earlier efforts.

Last up is the second single of the EP, the title track, which incidentally is also one of the best tracks, with the fast catchy verses that the listener is now well-accustomed to and a gang chant chorus that you can't help but yell along to (which also makes it one of their best songs live). This song also appears on their full-length, but to be honest, it sucks compared to this version. It's way overproduced and for some reason they've slowed it down a bit, and taken out the aggression present in its original version.

On a side note, these guys absolutely rip live -- check them out if you have a chance, and grab this, or their debut full-length As Sweet as Sin if you get the chance.