Reviewed by Darcie Stevens, Fri., Feb. 18, 2005
Bleeding All Over This Town (Has Anyone Ever Told You?)
Manchester, 1980. Ian Curtis dances his way into the hearts of a million malcontents, all jerking elbows and popping knees. The Chapters are the local resurrection of that dark, introspective dance music, and Bleeding All Over This Town is a snapshot of nightlife in the clubs: decadent if a little bit blurry. Rick Gonzalez hasn't cut a Joy Division carbon copy, though. Sounding influences from Bowie to the Clash, Bleeding is a promising debut from the We Talked About Murder guitarist. Opener "Thirty Three" turns on the bright lights with floating riffs and Chronicle staffer Bobby Cheatham's eerie keys, but the time changes and sudden directional shifts prove this band is much more than an Interpol wannabe. While sometimes overshooting its mark, occasionally landing in a quagmire of reverb ("First in Line"), the album deftly balances Eighties nostalgia and millennial self-awareness. Gonzalez & Co. are at their best when they're shaking their collective asses ("It's All Too Much," "Complications"), but when closer "Someway" rears its slow, burning head, it's clear these boys in black are actually green and still finding their footing as a band. There's not a standout hit among the 11 shadow-loving tracks, but Bleeding hints at evolution and lots and lots of good times. Stick with the hand claps and party jams, and those bright lights won't fade out anytime soon.