The fourth studio album by Tucson, AZ post-hardcore quintet the Bled is their debut for Rise Records after years on Vagrant, and finds the group introducing three new members -- only guitarist Jeremy Ray Talley and vocalist James Muñoz remain from the band's previous records. The new second guitarist, bassist, and drummer fit right in, though, cranking out heavy riffs and punishing the drum kit without mercy. The Bled are relatively unconcerned with melody, edging more toward the metal side of post-hardcore than the alternative/emo side. There are brief bursts of prettiness, as well as guitar breaks/solos that sound like malfunctioning video game consoles on songs like "Smoke Breaks" and "Need New Conspirators," while "Crowbait" and "When Exiting Your Vehicle" feature momentarily diverting production tricks, and a clean chorus or two crops up here and there. But for the most part, Heat Fetish is a 40-minute compilation of breakdowns aimed straight at the mosh pits of middle America, and closes with the closest thing the band has to a ballad, the surprisingly dissonant "Crawling Home."
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AllMusic Review by Phil Freeman