The new band sits in the beats of nosebleed
“Horse”, the title track from Nose Bleed’s eponymous album, begins with an ambling beat, a single line of guitar, whispering keyboards in the background. “I want to see how the other half live because too much honey has made me sick,” the voices intone. “I want to feel something sweet.” Then the song suddenly goes up a gear, the drums and the guitar gain urgency. “The face of Our Lord”, sing the voices. “You can’t hurt me anymore.”
This one-song rolling rock is a good introduction to what the New Haven-based band’s enigmatic full-length album has in store, which ranges from fragile acoustic numbers to fuzzy lo-fi rockers. “Horse” is followed by “Slipping Through”, a serene morose ballad; “As I walk on the water, I want to go below,” the singer sings, before humming a simple melody as a cymbal swells. A keyboard weaves in to flesh out the sound and a distorted guitar creates atmosphere. This is one of the many cuts to the record that makes good use of a few simple elements.
The following tracks, “Seed” and “Grip”, are rowdy rockers who find quiet vocals exchanging verses with the guitar as the rhythm slowly increases in intensity. The melody of “Gray” moves within shifting guitar chords which are just a little more complicated than they sound like. “Sleep” uses organ sounds and vocal harmonies to create something that feels like an anthem, even when the drums enter the conversation to get things going, and even when the song dissolves into a whirlwind of noise. “Frieza” shows the dark and humorous side of the music; “Pointing questions all night long / getting naked and singing songs / I like it because I know it’s wrong / and self-pity turns me on,” the voice whispers, though Following lines reveal that the song is sung from the perspective of a corpse in a mortuary. “Spanning Time” becomes almost majestic towards the end of its run, while the album’s last song, “Mouth,” sees the music reach a maximum of blunt scuzziness before transforming into a quieter, piano-built song. keyboards and acoustic guitars.
Who are the people in this group? Or is it just a person? Neither the Bandcamp page of the project nor its Instagram feed offer information, but they will have to reveal themselves soon enough when they open for Carolesfille from Southern California, which makes the Space Ballroom a stop on the tour on July 22. It’s a good choice for this show for all ages – a welcome return to form for the Hamden space as it regularly fills its schedule with both touring and local acts.