THE FUMES ‘Bloodless’ CD

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On their first two records, the Fumes proved themselves a formidable blues-rock force; Bloodless, the band’s third LP and first since 2009’s Sundancer, finds their oeuvre expanding considerably. Bloodless sees guitarist/singer Stephen Merry (one of Australia’s finest voices, one marinated in life) adding not just bassist Ryan Hazell, but a raft of extra-curricular musicality (harmonica, piano, slide) to the line-up. It makes for a pensive and intoxicating mix of swampy delta soul (“Broke a Chain”), moody Southern rock (“Lonely As You Are”) and gothic blues mixed with backcountry biker punk (“Why”). With its blend of peculiarly dust-blown Australian noir, Bloodless has been well worth the wait. – See more at: