Great Bloomers (EP)
May 27th 2008 (iTunes)
Canada has yet again dipped into the time tested tradition of folk rock. It is a beautiful sight to behold. The blank and too often standard canvass that the folk genre has become has allowed for heaps of redundancy, monotony, and predictability to seep onto record shop shelves everywhere. In the past as now, folk rock shines when musicians recognize this tendency and confront it head on, sometimes resulting, through experimentation, in music that on its face has little resemblance to its initial root. Acts like Pavement, Broken Social Scene, Eagle Seagull, Modest Mouse, The National, and Wilco all share this readiness to experiment beyond the initial structure of verse/chorus. Toronto’s Great Bloomers have endeavored to contribute to this style with the same reflexive perspective.
In less than 20 minutes, the Great Bloomers’ new self titled EP smears their biography thickly. Lyrically this EP serves as a collection of letters, never annoyingly saccharin, yet caught up in nostalgia and idealism. Catching Up opens the disc with an upbeat, high spirited pop track dressed in a symphony of feedback and speckles of unimposing harmonica. Black Rising Fire continues the EP with an awkward melody that seems lifted directly from early 1990’s pop rock, but as the song teeters it transforms into a bass walking Americana jig, which then descends into a choir of feathered voices.
The energy and musicianship of the Great Bloomers is to be commended. A criticism they may have to overcome would involve their flirtation with sing-song simplicity as in the intro to Market of the Night. However every time a song approaches catastrophe they pull it out of the water. The changeups are not schizophrenic; rather they are subtle shifts in pop sensibilities from banality to the road less traveled. This modal awareness is what makes the Great Bloomers a promising troupe. Look for their full length LP coming soon.