The San Francisco-based pop rock band The Bruises returns with the emotionally drenched Never Be the Same. Coming off their phenomenal EP Motion Light, the band has a more cohesive sound, thanks in part to the bonding of the new lineup.
Core members Aja Blue (lead vocals/guitar) and Jen Black (lead guitar/vocals) are flawlessly backed by the rhythm section of Clayton Vorheis (bass) and Tamara Waite (drums). The addition of Vorheis and Waite adds a solid driving force to The Bruises sound which was lacking before. Vorheis’ bass riffs are perfectly in the pocket, and Waite’s drumming anchors these songs with heavy hitting and classy fills.
Black and Blue, who have been playing together for over a decade, are at their best. Black’s guitar playing is less restrained to just poppy power chords. Her guitar fills are tasty, and with the help of Blue’s rhythms give the songs on Never Be the Same a thick, fuller sound.
Where you hear the biggest growth with the Bruises is in the lyrics. Blue is writing out of her mind with some of the best lyrics she’s put to paper. Fortunately or unfortunately, however you want to look at it, she had to go through a painful breakup to achieve such lofty themes. The great thing is she makes it work. At times you can feel the pain she went through as she belts out her pain for the world to hear. Blue’s falsetto is endearing, and with Black on background vocals the girls draw you in with honesty.
The Bruises’ Never Be the Same is one of the best albums of 2012 and clearly the best album of their career. Not that their past work was poor, not in the very least, but with subtle changes and the help of Andrew Einstein at the controls, this band will—and excuse the play on words—never be the same after the public hears these ten great songs.
Read an interview with the Bruises here