They might be in the middle of an ice age/normal winter (for them) in Winnipeg, Canada, but pop punk quartet Bleed American are dreaming of the sun. To judge an album by its cover for a second, the bright blue skies and smooth water on the artwork are exactly where ‘Figure It Out’ will take you to in your mind’s eye—there’s something panoramic about their sound which only deserves a huge audience. This album is your day in the sun, so sit back and enjoy it.
Coming in slowly in like a brilliant sunrise with building guitars and a drumroll, the introductory Sip has a short but simple message: “I’ll find my way out”—and you’ll find that this is a great escape plan in the next eight tracks. Did I Look Okay Back There pleads “please don’t let me fall”, but it’s already too late for you—by now you’ll already be falling fast for their gentle yet anthemic sound. And with next track Bloom you’ll be ready to follow wherever they take you to next—to the beach with your best friends, where you’ll feel the wind in your hair as you dance in the sand to the building, energetic riffs and gang vocals. This is for fans of The Wonder Years and Man Overboard—tracks like Movie Theatre Theft and Where’s The Fire are the perfect summer roadtrip songs where the sun is bright in your eyes and the days feel full of endless possibilities.
Face To Face takes things down a notch, to a late night acoustic melody that is haunting and introspective, right down to the echoing reverb. A song about the loneliness of a broken heart, it’ll tug at the ache in your chest you didn’t realise was there, and the simple riffs will hammer it home. Pop punk is at its best when it’s honest, and you can’t get any more real than this. Disregard is darker in a different way—the deep, slow vocals and chugging juxtapose with light, twinkling riffs that skip overhead. But these are the only two tracks that are for your moodier moments; the final tracks Executive and Life And Times are back to their semi-upbeat tone that runs through ‘Figure It Out’.
This is not a party album. It’s summery, yes, and you can dance and sing along like there’s no tomorrow, but it’s covered in a haze of emotion that is way more satisfying than a purely superficial pop album. And that’s all you want from music; something to make you feel like you’re understood and not alone. The Winnipeg boys have got it down to a tee in their very first album, putting those scrambled thoughts into words you never thought possible.
Bleed American – ‘Figure It Out’