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Friday, December 02, 2011

Bleach -- Again, For the First Time

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8/10

Arriving early on our one and only trip to the Cornerstone Rock and Roll Festival in the summer of 2002, my compadres and I attended the only set of shows on day one, aka, Tooth & Nail day. We were quite surprised to see the band Bleach performing on this day, as
1. We didn't even know they were still together, and
2. We didn't have any idea they had just signed to Tooth & Nail, a much more rough and tumble label than Forefront, their previous home.
We were also surprised at the passion and energy of Bleach's live show, and eagerly attended a second set they put on a few days later. That passion and energy is easily apparent on Again, For the First Time, their Tooth & Nail debut, but the even bigger surprise is Bleach's new found maturity.
Actually, this shouldn't be a surprise at all considering that the passing of time often brings maturity whether we want it or not, but somehow a lot of bands never find it. Bleach sounds older and wiser on Again, For the First Time, but somehow more fired up than on any of their previous releases. Whether this is from the label change or the injection of new blood by way of new members, it is quite welcome. Dave Baysinger's voice has matured, kept some of the britty Rivers Cuomo tones, but dropped any likeness to Billy Corgan. He sounds like a man now, singing about more sophisticated topics, bringing the newfound energy, edge, and passion to even the more balladesque tracks, like the powerful "Knocked Out"
Obviously, with the 90's finished, the more alternative leanings have morphed into a modern rock sound, but this actually favors the new lineup, and helps make Again, For the First Time Bleach's most solid album yet. The title couldn't be more apt.

2002 Tooth & Nail Records
1. Intro 0:17
2. Baseline 2:25
3. Celebrate 2:40
4. Broke in the Head 3:07
5. We Are Tomorrow 2:53
6. Fell Out 2:38
7. Weak at the Knees 2:48
8. Found You Out 3:05
9. Said a Lot 3:17
10. Almost Too Late 2:08
11. Andy's Doin' Time 3:39
12. Knocked Out 3:40
13. Jenn's Song 1:47

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