This is an odd one: Longtime local jangle-rock faves Blue Meridian, on the heels of fair notice for their last studio effort, "Brave Angel" (a winner of the Orlando Music Awards), opt for the obscurity route on their latest, the obliquely titled "Bleeding on the Guardrail." Few local bands would have the chutzpah (or the fan following) to press and promote their touched-up demos at a stage that's so early in the band's still unrequited national ambitions (much less, do so with a mention of blood). Still, it's all served up with heady liner explanations that seem to cast the whole project as a contextual endeavor more than a forward-moving one.
On its own, though, "Guardrail" harkens back to the origins of Orlando's raspy rock roots, with a sound that recalls Jason Ross of Seven Mary Three's sincerity, with added murk. A couple of standouts -- the chugging "Secretly Someone," the withdrawn "I Don't Want to Talk About It" -- save this from being a vanity indulgence and render it a fitting testament to the formative years of Donovan Lyman's now-honed pop accessibility.