In 2016, Rock music is like the Republican Party. While the genre may not have utterly imploded like the GOP has, it has become so visibly fragmented that its identity is nearly impossible to pin down. No longer a cash cow in the wake of the mainstream Trap and EDM takeover, record labels have little incentive to manufacture an assembly line of mopey Post-Grunge and Alt-Rock acts in order to pay the entire A & R department’s salaries with halftime Chevy commercials. Which is a good thing. But that leaves an uncertain void – what even IS a generic “Rock band” nowadays? The possible answers to that question are as scattered as they have ever been.
If you were born before 1970, retro blues-rock bands like Wolfmother, Rival Sons, and Scorpion Child are all the rage, executing the Zeppelin-Sabbath-Aerosmith formula to a T like a wide receiver studying passing routes. If you’re a teenager seeking edginess without diving all the way down the Metal rabbit hole, there’s Halestorm, Theory of a Deadman, and Papa Roach holding down the Active Rock charts. And perhaps most noteworthy, there’s the Indie Rock explosion, with bands like the Black Keys and Arcade Fire winning over the hearts of hipsters at the intersection of The Strokes and Queens of the Stone Age. Oh, and then there’s Pop-Punk too. And yet none of these factions seem to want anything to do with each other.
Somewhere in the middle of all this is Canadian Alternative Rock outfit Bleeker, whose third major release Erase You plays like a microcosm of Rock’s identity crisis. Erase You is the sound of a band still experimenting and searching for individuality, directing their creative gusto at several different audiences at once. That they’re so unsure of themselves makes for an uneven and occasionally confusing listen, but more often than not, the songs are undeniable….
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