3 Kisses – Angels Bleed Black

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The purpose of music reviews is to inform and entertain the public on the work of a particular artist. Even if it’s only reviewing one album, it’s almost a necessity to have prior knowledge of past albums and other releases to be able to discuss the likely evolution the artist will undergo with time.

Since starting out 12 years ago, 3 Kisses has released nine studio albums. With that stated, it’s seemingly impossible to accurately review the group’s new album Angels Bleed Black. I first became aware of these guys (and gal) this past May for a write up of the LP Cardboard Cutouts. Since that time I haven’t delved into any other albums from this band. So, this review comes as a bit of a challenge.

From the start, they seem to have not lost any of the energy or playfulness of the past effort with Lovesick Ending. The sense of sarcasm in Tish Meeks’ voice is still there as well with her upbeat approach to lyrics such as, “How easy I was to replace. Staring down the agony, I’m just another casualty, penciled in and then erased.”

The title track is more relaxed and down tempo than the album opener. Although, Drew Owens provides plenty of attention grabbing lead guitar work here, especially in the intro and the solo section beginning at 2:25. The cute, party rock vibe that’s usually on display dissipates with Bow to the Tyrant. This is ‘80s-esque anti-establishment punk and even without vocals this song just sounds boorish with its coarse riffs.

Afterward, things get a little heavier with bass laden tracks like Shot Down 1000 Chances but then quickly return to the feel-good and motivational with Fired Up.

Open Up Your Mind is filled with power chords just like many punk songs. However, Owens’ use of pinch harmonics, soloing, and progressive technicality makes this one a bit more atypical than usual of the punk genre. He also shows off some rapid alternate picking in the intro to Throw it All Away.

Is Angels Bleed Black a change in direction in comparison to the last release Cardboard Cutouts? Not really. But as you might have guessed judging from the album title, it is a slightly darker and heavier effort. For the most part this band is continuing to do what it does. Which in many ways is not anything bad, especially for those who have continued to follow 3 Kisses throughout their career.

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