/

CD REVIEW

Bleach “Bleach Stone”

by Shawn Despres

Citing the old standby, “artistic differences,” on June 10, all-girl Okinawa hard-rock trio Bleach (who used the modified moniker Bleach03 overseas) announced they had disbanded. Formed in 1998, they gigged extensively throughout Japan and toured the United States 11 times, establishing a small cult following that helped 2005′s eponymous effort and 2007′s “The Head That Controls Both Right and Left Sides Eats Meats and Slobbers Even Today” chart on American campus radio. “Bleach Stone” is their sixth and final full-length.

Enthusiasts for all things heavy and loud, throughout their career Bleach have expanded their often abrasive sound by experimenting with different structures and styles. “Bleach Stone” is no different, opening with “Worm,” a trippy hybrid of distorted garage rock and punk with a cool psychedelic droned chorus. Bassist Miya’s awesome guttural roars, which usually resulted in her nearly swallowing her mic when unleashed live, turn “Boku ga Boku de Arukagiri” into a chaotic hardcore-infused romp that pauses briefly mid-song for guitarist Kanna and drummer Sayuri to contribute an a capella round of playful “bops.” Following Miya’s example, Kanna alternates between melodic singing and high-pitched shrieking on the standout fast-paced, intricate metal number “Mikai no Ikazuti.” More wild yelps surface on the soul- and blues-spiked “Complex Ningen,” a turbulent rock cut that would have gone over great in concert.

Although it’s difficult to fault them for quitting while ahead, “Bleach Stone” shows the creative well for this trio was far from dried out.