Thursday, August 04, 2016

Album Review :: Blossoms - Blossoms



August 5 2016 (Virgin EMI)


Words: Alison Mack

When Stockport five-piece Blossoms were first introduced to Little Indie back in the opening days of the new year of 2014, there was nothing to show then just how far they would go. Admittedly, there was a certain way about their strong riffs and infectious melodies, along with strong vocals out front courtesy of Tom Ogden, but nothing to show that they are now closing up to The 1975 to become one of the North-West's most lauded exports to the US.

Their 12-track debut album comes, two years on, packed with their raft of radio-friendly singles, several new cuts, and enough tuneful stylings to see them continue on their path up the ladder to big stage headliner act.

They set out their stall with no hanging about with tge effervescent ‘Charlemagne’. As engaging as you are likely to find, built on synthpop hooks, sprightly scampering guitar and Ogden's ringing “hello / hello” opening, it's a track that reeks professionalism (helped by James Skelly again taking a hand on co-production) and of a band who have honed what they know they are best at.

The formula works well on the chugging refrain of  ‘At Most A Kiss’, and 'Getaway', laced with melodic indie pop riffs, rhythmic drums and some shimmery twinkling synths, if not exactly to the same level; while 'Blown Rose' is a dive into billowy psychedelia. Latest single ‘Honey Sweet’ is an addictively melodic jangly guitar soother. ‘My Favourite Room’ is a live set acoustic breather, as it is here coming in the second half of the album, nestled between the infectious 'Cut Me and I’ll Bleed' and first introductory track, 'Blow'.

On album closer 'Deep Grass', Ogden pulls out yearning lines, “Maybe this time, give me a sign”, over a swathe of brooding synths, and a bluesy funk of a bass line, although “I keep myself awake at night/ thinking of ways to make you cry” indicates there is possibly a sub-plot lurking beneath what appears a love-soaked soliloquy.

'Blossoms' doesn't disappoint, and their staunch fanbase will be purchasing in droves, but one can't help feel that if they had omitted a couple of tracks and replaced with some fresher material it might have saved it from coming over as something of a 'best of' work.

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