Audiobender deliver a high energy brand of dirty guitar rock and roll.
‘Alright With Me’ is a prime example of emotional vocals that swirl through the blustering guitars and drums, while ‘On And On’ has a more brittle and loose feel. At times the guitars feel a little thin, more like a demo and in need of a bit of tightening up in the mix and master stage, but the song’s general shape and construction is engaging enough. Audiobender are really the kind of band you would be happy to listen to if you turned up at a bar and they happened to be playing that night. Their music isn’t challenging enough to make your head hurt, but at the same time it has just enough bite to it to feel like there is a slice of substance going on. ‘Sweet’ draws on some classing punk tones and wraps them up in a bluesy rock package, while ‘MFH (here come that girl)’ harnesses all the power and energy of the White Stripes, with screeching, distorted vocals. At moments there are flickers of The Hives to be found in Audiobender’s music, with its relentless manic nature, despite the sense that there is an undercurrent of control running throughout their tunes. It’s found loud and clear on ‘One In The Hand’ which starts off as a smoky, bluesy ballad that unfolds and begins to come apart at the edges with its ferocious guitar solo and emotional vocals that come tumbling together on the track’s denouement. Audiobender are a band that are prepared to fool around and experiment with their tone and the sounds they create – ‘The Rules’ features a burnt out overdriven vocal that simply oozes with a joy and a true love of rock and roll, and yet by contrast ‘I Won’t Write This Song’ takes the listener through a relatively straightforward journey in its easy going balladry with a sudden explosion of expressive guitar work.
This is music that is always offering little surprises along the way – the cheeky blues of ‘Know What I Mean’ almost comes off as a kind of tiki lounge Pixies, with its bass runs and wailing vocals. Despite all the bluster and bravado that Audiobender have a habit of displaying, there are certainly moments of tenderness to be found as well, not least on ‘Say Goodnight’, with its distant synth notes and gentle guitar plucking. As the track progresses, it begins to build into something more wild and feral, leaning ever so slightly into Bon Jovi and offering a guitar solo to satisfy most soft rock fans.
So what more is there to say about a band like Audiobender? ‘Let It Bleed’ more or less pulls together everything that these guys are all about, with its Nirvana style growls and classic rock flourishes. This is the kind of music you want when it’s time for a cold beer and to chew the fat with the guys. When it goes right, it really does land the punch well. Sure, there are times when the music feels a little thin and scrappy, but that is more than made up for by the times when all bets are off and the music really lets rip for some all out wild rock and roll.