Slummin’ it

Damn — those are melodies coming out of the speakers, aren’t they?

On past albums, Bleach epitomized the sound of unbridled rage. They were the kind of albums you saved on days when you were thisclose to going postal on the world’s ass.

But on the first three tracks of Bleach’s self-titled third album, it’s actually possible to sing along.

The first single from the album, “Canary Teikoku no Gyakushuu”, actually sounds like a single.

“Canary Teikoku no Gyakushuu” is an old-school ska song that transforms to a double-time punk song at the chorus. Compared to most of the band’s songs, it’s kind of slumming.

Don’t think, though, that Bleach has blunted its razor edge — single or not, “Canary Teikoku no Gyakushuu” still packs a one hell of a wallop.

In a way, it’s nice to see Bleach expanding its range. Rather than concentrating a narrow focus on rage for rage’s sake, the all-woman trio from Okinawa instead refract different styles of music through its own hardcore lens.

There’s a very successful shot at a slow song (“Chousen”). There’s a twisted stab at a disco beat (“Shiri”). And there’s a military beat that could turn the walls of Jericho to dust all over again (“Sun-dance(Moon-dance)”).

But Bleach still leave a lot of room for the usual modus operandi — hard riffs, screaming vocals, intense noise.

“Howling” and “Arigatoo Gozaimasu”, two tracks which finish the album, remind listeners just how hard these women can hit.

And like previous albums, Bleach goes by quick — 31 minutes, this time around. Still, it’s probably the most exhausting half-hour a pair of ears may ever encounter.

The tunes on this album make it Bleach’s most accessible to date, but the trio has lost none of the vitality that powers the voltage in its music.