REVIEW: Late Bloomer – “Things Change”

latebloomerthingschangeShit, so Late Bloomer. There is a lot going on with them. They’ve taken influence from a wide array of places, and they have compressed it down to a cohesive sound that is theirs. Their sophomore full length, Things Change, find them squarely rooted in that indie/punk sweet spot that bands like Dinosaur Jr. or Hüsker Dü were doing in the late 80s/early 90s. Maybe some grunge thrown in there too. But, they have managed to do it in a way that avoids being some shitty throwback band. It is them playing with those influences, not ripping them off.

Things Change is a great record that plays pretty loose with genre rules. It’s clear that Late Bloomer isn’t concerned with making one thing or another, they are concerned with doing what works for them. They fucking nailed that. You can label and genre this band a million different ways, but you’d be wrong. It’s too punk to be indie, it’s too poppy to be post-hardcore, it’s to grunge to be punk. The beauty of it is that they’re really all those thing. It’s definitely a column A, column b situation. The seamless transitions from genre to genre make this record special.

On paper, this record should be a disjointed mess. In practice, goddamn it works. A song like “Children” goes right into “Mirror” without any issues. All three band members can sing. All the songs can carry a different flavor. It is all works because this is a very skilled band. This is a cohesive album, not a collection of songs. It wouldn’t work if Late Bloomer didn’t have the skills to adeptly mix it all together into one of the strongest full lengths I’ve heard this year.

Late Bloomer
Tor Johnson Records (Buy It)
Self Aware Records (Buy It)
BandCamp

REVIEW: Best Practices – "Sore Subjects"

Goddamn. I was waiting for more music from Best Practices. Sore Subjects is a follow up to The EP LP from last year. Everything that worked on that record is back in force here. Basically, this EP knocks is out of the park again.

With Will Killingsworth at the production helm again, the band has put together another solid record. Best Practices still play a hodge podge of pop punk, hardcore, and whatever else they feel like throwing in. What is notable about these new songs is how the band is giving them room to play out. Where every song on The EP LP was around two minutes or under, two of the four songs on this are actually longer than three minutes. I mean, it is still four quick songs, clocking in at about 11 minutes, but there is a little breathing room.

This is really a pretty natural progression for the band. It still has that low-fi production that made their previous effort sound so good. It is still the weird post-hardcore guitar lines thrown in with a poppy veneer. The vocals are still rough, but fantastic. There is just a few more colors added to the palette. Like the acoustic guitar intro bit on “Home For Halloween.”

Honestly, everything I said about this band when I reviewed The EP LP still holds true. Fuck whatever else your doing right now. Go listen to this.

Best Practices
BandCamp
Tor Johnson Records
Buy It

(updated 5/12/13 with label/buy it information)