Former Members of Astrokats Form New Band Bleeth

They might be fans of Baywatch, but the three members of local rock group Bleeth did not name their band after one of that show's stars, Yasmine Bleeth. "We wanted something that when you heard it, you didn't have anything to relate it to or have some preconceived idea of," guitarist Lauren Palma says. So forget those images of a buxom lifeguard running in slow motion.

Palma and bassist Ryan Rivas were longtime members of fellow Miami band Astrokats before they splintered off to form Bleeth. "By the end of our time in that band, we were getting more experimental. The music was getting heavier." Palma says that heavier direction is one Bleeth plans to follow. The group found its drummer in Juan David Londono, who had moved to Miami from Colombia three years earlier. The three quickly discovered they shared common influences in bands such as Smashing Pumpkins, Acid King, and Electric Wizard.

In the eight months since they formed Bleeth, the guys have kept busy, releasing Re-Animator, an intense five-song EP that's available on cassette and streaming. "Our new beginning was what influenced that. This was our chance to come together and do something different. It was a rebirth where we tried to make things heavier."

They took those songs up the East Coast on a two-and-a-half-week tour that had them partying through sleepless nights in New York and anxiously squirming over arachnids in Georgia. "We were in Athens staying in a treehouse cabin after a show. We were ready to go to sleep and moved something out of the way, and we saw a scorpion."

The bandmates are working on songs for a new full-length album, planned for release on vinyl. They'll perform some of those tracks live at Kill Your Idol this Wednesday. Palma says the songs weren't inspired by fear of that scorpion; rather, they spawned from tedium. "The new stuff is based on the idea of purgatory. We're playing with new rhythms. It's about people's feelings when they're stuck. The songs are even sludgier and doomier." And odds are good that none of them will include a reference to David Hasselhoff.

Bleeth 10 p.m. Wednesday July 8, at Kill Your Idol, 222 Espanola Way, Miami Beach; 305­672­1852; Visit Facebook for more info. Admission is free. Ages 21 and up.

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David Rolland is a freelance music writer for Miami New Times. His novels, The End of the Century and Yo-Yo, are available at many fine booksellers.
Contact: David Rolland