We first heard from Mary Bleeds in March, upon the release of the live in-studio performance video of their song “Seal.” That brooding and meditative track introduced us to this Dublin group’s experimental and lyrical sound which blends Grunge and Post-Punk power with dark psychedelia. “Seal” also worked as a teaser of the band’s eponymous debut album, and a view into their fully organic and analog recording process.
With famed analog recording producer and engineer Julie McLarnon (The Vaselines, Jeffrey Lewis, Lankum) at the helm, Mary Bleeds spent one weekend last December in the studio, tracking their entire debut album live to tape. It is a process practically unheard of in our modern era of digital recording, mixing, mastering and distribution. In keeping with that Analog aesthetic, the band has also released the album on Bandcamp in a limited pressing of 300 vinyl discs.
Thanks both to the recording process and a shared musical and lyrical theme throughout, the “Mary Bleeds” album flows perfectly as a cohesive whole. Lead vocalist and lyricist Guilherme comes from the great history of Rock vocalists who use their music as a platform for deeper, and often darker explorations of the human psyche. From Jim Morrison to Iggy Pop, Kate Bush to Gerard Way; Rock & Roll’s poets/singers have taken their music into some philosophically complex and psychologically dark corners. On their new album, Mary Bleeds uses that platform to explore the deep recesses of childhood memory and Catholicism-induced trauma.
The record opens with the band’s first single “Riddle.” After a meditative bass/vocal first half the song shifts into uptempo rocker. Bassist Leticia Ledoux and guitarist Paolo churn out a dose of Punk as Guilherme channels his inner Glenn Danzig. “Rapture” lends a little bit of Surf Rock into the mix. “Mary” follows with a quick blast of distorted bass driven rock.
On both “Howl” and “Salt” the band digs deep into the Goth and Dark Wave sounds of 80’s bands like Bauhaus and Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. The latter track riffs on the biblical tale of Lot’s wife who is turned to a pillar of salt for defying God and peering at the destruction of Sodom. “City of Wonders” kicks back into a grungy Punk/Metal mode in a groove that sounds a bit like The Stooges covering a Black Sabbath song, and everything about that is awesome.
“Blue Spirit” and “Seal” each take their turns back into a Goth mood while also introducing elements of Garage and Classic Rock. The album ends on the cryptic but melodic bonus track “Denial,” a guitar/vocal duet that brings to mind some of Alice in Chains’ mellower stuff.
Mary Bleeds’ debut album is a powerful introduction to an exciting new band with a multi-layered sound and complex psychological dynamic. Watch the “Seal” video below. You can also hear the track “Riddle” on the Deep Indie Dive playlist. Follow the links below to connect with Mary Bleeds. Get on their socials and get in the loop on everything this dynamic young band has in store for the future.