It’s been ages since I’ve properly got into a good old-fashioned guitar group. As a teen growing up in the Brit-pop era of the mid-nineties, I do like me a bit of rock ‘n’ roll swagger, and Blossoms deliver on all accounts.
In fact, they were the only rock band to make the BBC’s annual Sound of 2016 long-list, which is surely significant and quite the accolade.
The Stockport five-piece have been on my radar for some time, first brought to my attention by my good pal (and one-time Le Blower), Amy, when she saw them gigging in Manchester in 2015 and thought their (then) 60’s vibes would be right up my street.
SHE WAS RIGHT.
I’ve been tracking their progress ever since, and having secured support slots for the likes of Stone Roses and Last Shadow Puppets, they’re finally getting a chance to shine in their own right with the release of their highly anticipated debut album, imaginatively titled, ‘Blossoms’. Not to be confused with the 90s sitcom with a similar-sounding name, right?
TBH, the 12-track album sounds at once familiar, mainly because half of the songs have already been released as singles (just like how it used to work back in the day!), kicking off with the latest release and infinitely catchy ‘Charlemagne’.
Note: Charlemagne is not the name of one of my drunken Irish cousins (that’s Charlene, HI) but rather that of a king from the Middle Ages, AKA a Holy Roman Emperor. Little fact for you there; don’t say I don’t spoil you!
However, these older tracks have been given a polish and a spruce-up, and now sound even more radio-ready than before.
Despite clearly being influenced by all of our favourite bands from all eras – The Doors, Arctic Monkeys, Oasis, Stone Roses, The Charlatans, Suede, The Smiths, Shed Seven, Pink Floyd and The Rolling Stones are a few that leap to mind straight away – the boys borrow well but ensure they put their own trademark Blossoms-sounding spin on things, meaning this album covers a lot of bases.
From the dark 80s synth of ‘Honey Sweet’ (next single maybe?) to the all-out swingin’ 60s sound of ‘Blow’ (RIP the black polo-necks, though lads) through to the
lighters iPhones-in-air balladic stripped-back piano of ‘Onto Her Bed’ and the 90s indie band twang of ‘Blown Rose’ – not forgetting the proper balls-out pop-rock of ‘Getaway’, the Blossoms sound is still distinctive and easily identifiable. I like the fact there’s a song for every mood, and that the album flows through these differing styles with ease.
Special shout-out to stand-out song ‘Texia’ which for me was the only track I found hard to hang the hat of a previous genre on – and therefore making for the freshest sound on the album, giving us a glimpse into the true (and future?) Blossoms sound and soul, I reckon.
Frontman and song-writer Tom Ogden writes from the heart, often about his relationships (watch out Adele/Taylor Swift), creating a nice little juxtaposition of melancholic, whimsical lyrics coupled with melodic, anthemic choruses, making for proper crowd pleasers.
What more could you want from a rock band?
We want to be as mainstream as Will Smith and as big as The Smiths.
With their metaphoric rise to fame only gaining momentum, their wish looks well on the way to being granted. Plus, cocky bravado aside, the fact is Blossoms are five nice, normal working-class lads who happen to make perfectly crafted and bloody catchy pop-rock songs. THAT’S what give Blossoms their charm, THAT’S what will shift records and make ’em successful – and THAT’S what makes their debut album a right little goer, currently on repeat for me.