NEW BRUISES / STOLEN BIKES RIDE FASTER: Split: 7”

I thought that the first New Bruises LP, Transmit! Transmit!, was a decent outing peppered with some really good tracks (“Homo-Erectus-Americanus” still finds its way onto mixes I make a few years after I’ve heard it). That said, they’ve released a few 7”s since then, including this one, and they now strike me as a band that’s entirely coming into their own. With vocals somewhere between singing and screaming and toe-tappable bursts of guitar hooks laid over an on-point rhythm section, it all merges to form some serious rock. Interestingly, it’s rock that eschews much of the gruff-vocalled beard-blasts that seems so synonymous with the Tampa/Gainesville area right now. I mean, I really like a lot of that stuff, but the bullets New Bruises are firing are from a different gun entirely, and that’s refreshing. Stolen Bikes Ride Faster is from Italy and seem to be a pretty good record-mate; musically they’re pretty similar, though they seem to be more relentless and unwilling to take the song down a notch for some instrumental interplay. The only bummer about Stolen Bikes (and this is the first time I’ve heard ‘em, so I don’t know if it’s a studio thing that they do all the time or what) but either the vocalist double-tracked his stuff or they turned the reverb way up in the mix; the end result is that he sounds A) somewhat operatic and B) totally independent of the band. It’s a little distracting. As a whole, though, the record’s pretty good; two tracks each by two bands that seem to be slogging their way towards sloughing off their influences and finding themselves in a house that they’re building themselves. Nice attack. 

 –keith (Kiss Of Death)