Formed in 2010, Noam Bleen is an Italian three piece with a love of heavy tube distortion. This self titled EP, dedicated to David Bowie, is a strong debut in the world of alternative rock and there is depth to its heavy nineties feel.
‘Underplay’ opens proceedings with some cool riffing and a strong hint of Foo Fighters, but it’s a well worked track and hits the spot. ‘Placebo Button’ is heavier, with a more alternative grungy feel, and is the standout track. It rocks pretty hard and there is a nice break for a downbeat solo, before exploring instrumental soundscapes on an epic finale. Great track.
The rest of the EP has a similarly heavy air, but the songs are well thought out and they seem to be trying to find their own niche. ‘Vent Your Spleen’ building in intensity and taking an instrumental twist, while ‘Specious Present’ is quite dark and disjointed. There are also a couple of short instrumental pieces in ‘Solivagant’, with its atmospheric synths, and the acoustic ‘At Dawn’ which is quite lovely; whether they might work better as intros within other tracks is a debatable point.
The only track which is maybe a bit superfluous is ‘Star’s End’, its down beat grunge by numbers not really going anywhere. I have the feeling that the band wanted to make an LP, but were a song or two short, so just put everything out as an EP, when maybe they could have held something back and kept it a little shorter; four or five tracks is normally enough to showcase a band’s strengths.
However, the EP has plenty to offer and Noam Bleen write interesting, highly enjoyable, songs that, despite giving away their influences, manage to walk their own path. With improved production they could get even more out of the adventurous side to their songwriting; I look forward to hearing what else they have up their sleeves.