With cover art, which I truly hope was inspired by Bob Ross, the melodic hardcore Sydney-siders Bloom are back with their Sophomore EP ‘In Passing’ released last week. This EP is surprisingly peaceful and tranquil, even though vocalist Jono Hawkey starts yelling his head off from 0:01 seconds in. ‘In Passing’ is almost Banshee-like with that grieving screaming tone, which compliments the overall theme of EP.
If I had to visually describe this EP, it’s like that picture of a person sitting in a room full of speakers and the caption is “What song would you play first?”, and of course everyone immediately thinks of something loud and heavy as f*ck to blast through those amps! ‘In Passing’ feels like that Woah! Music just hit me right in the face! There’s something powerful about Bloom’s EP.
The passing of Jono’s Grandfather Bryan last year, was a huge influential factor that prompted the writing and inspiration for the EP. ‘In Passing’ features 5 tracks, all having a personal emotional connection or backstory from Jono’s experiences of losing a family member, which everyone can relate to and empathise with.
I really admire using music as a tool to heal. Whether it is writing, playing, or just making some sh*t up on a guitar (haha). Music is so powerful, it can make you happy, sad, or even help you heal. Much like Linkin Park’s Mike Shinoda releasing the album ‘Post Traumatic’ as his way of grieving Chester Bennington’s death. There is some mad respect for Jono and the Bloom boys for releasing an EP like this to the public, it’s emotionally packed to the brim and has this aura of vulnerability with in the band, in a good way, much like showing battle scars.
Okay let’s pick out a few tracks to have a chat about off the EP.
If you’re not into the whole screamo/metal scene, the song ‘June’ is what you should start with on this EP, it’s lighter on the ears compared to the other tracks. The band said this that June was “written about his grandfather in his final days at the hospital, Jono reflects on the stories Bryan told of his youth in such detail as his body shut down slowly” inspiring the lyrics ‘Your body was dying, but your mind stayed intact’. This song gives a nice dip in the EP, screaming wise, as there are more clean vocals present but it’s not overtaking the entire song, the guitar work in this track is really mesmerizing. ‘June’ does also showcase that punk-metal Aussie accent, much like how you can hear that Aussie-ness vocally from Trenton Woodley in Hands Like Houses. Don’t worry, that Bloom sound is still heavily there.
‘The Boat And The Stream’ is where the idea from the album art came from. Unfortunately, it’s not directly a Bob Ross work, but hey you never know the original artist may have loved a happy little tree by a happy little stream from time to time. ‘Bryan was discussing a painting he had on the wall depicting a stream surrounded by trees. In his tired state he simply stared at the painting, saying he was “waiting for the boat to come down the stream”. This is the moment that inspired the song, and has even inspired the EP’s artwork which is taken from that very painting.’ That visual tribute is such a beautiful and humble concept to depict. The Boat And The Stream is a very reflective and emotionally loaded song, the way it starts off with quiet guitar and then breaks into the first verse is very nicely built up. This track gives me some Silverstein vibes.
Last stand out song we will discuss today is the single ‘Daylight’. Bloom have said that ‘The concept is one that all can relate to - wondering when your time with your loved ones will end… wondering if someone will ever come home’, this song is anxiety riddled with a mixture of anger, guilt and also fear, and maybe even be a slightly pinch of paranoia in this song in terms of having no control and overthinking situations. This song is fast paced and creates that sense of urgency, particularly in the chorus. Daylight is emotionally heavy in the lyrics much like the rest of the EP, “Is this our final embrace? The last time I see your face?... Because everyone dies, With no reason why, Will you come home tonight or be gone by daylight?”, you can really feel the anxiety and fear in the lyrics.
Overall, Bloom has shown massive vulnerability in this melodic hardcore EP masterpiece, it’s raw and honest, I think fans would really connect with the themes and also with the sound of the ‘In Passing’ EP. Noise wise, Bloom and their new EP resemble the likes of The Amity Affliction, In Hearts Wake and a touch Linkin Park, just with the heaviness and vocal range shown by all these artists and bands.
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