By the second song on Bzzzz, it’s apparent the Sweet Bleeders’ earnest baroque folk pop is something exquisite. Blending the moody melodic shifts of Radiohead with the unabashed acoustic jaunting of Elliot Smith, the Sweet Bleeders craft an album that takes its time unfolding and opening up its expansiveness. The dense, affectionate instrumental layers caked over languid melodies make the album sound utterly urgent, yet never hurried.
Highlights on the album include “Lu Nan Jen” with its uncanny Thom Yorke-ish vocals and quivering guitar work that ferments long enough to explode into a full-on gypsy folk frenzy, the lushly deep arrangement including a rattling piano on “Never be the Same” and the slow-burning brilliance of “Run Anyway” which blossoms from a shy keyboard melody into a radiant orchestral denouement.
Bzzzz unquestioningly holds its own in the cluttered sea of indie rock. At times, songs are too lengthy for their own good they waft without development for too long and listening becomes tedious. But this is a small quibble as the album boasts a hoard of stellar songs that are as fulfilling to listen to as they are to get lost in.
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