Review by Jenny Bunn – Flower Violence by Blóm is out today on Box Records
Blóm’s ‘Flower Violence’ is a perfect oxymoron, both in name and in sound. The Newcastle three-piece’s debut album is an angsty five song riot of frenetic noise, dealing with lyrical themes ranging from gender identity and feminism to socio economic challenges. And Dostoyevsky.
The album screeches its way into first track ‘Audrey’, introducing dark angular riffs, thudding drums and emotive vocals. This first insight into Blóm is an insight into a band who aren’t afraid to channel the rage of modern society through each of their respective contributions. Together, this collective cacophony of emotions is a punch in the gut.
Subsequent tracks ‘Meat’ and ‘God’ are a dynamic duo of upbeat fuzz-heavy riffs and right-up-in-your-face drumming, thematically tackling objectification and Christianity respectively.
Fourth track ‘Ubermensch’ is a standout 8 minutes and 5 seconds of atmospheric instability. Inspired by Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment, ‘Ubermensch’ sees nearly four minutes of exploration into doomy feedback before vocals are even considered. The band’s characteristic unconventional structure and lyrical motifs of ‘we’re coming after your legacy’ and ‘I am not the Ubermensch’ build towards a frantic but welcome climax of pure noise-punk-doom-rock-chaos.
Album closer ‘Be Kind’s’ iconic refrain of “Stand together, try to be kind. Speak the truth, free your mind” is an encouraging reminder to show kindness to both yourself and others, relevant maybe more so now than ever.
Flower Violence is a noisy dream. It’s rare to see a band without a guitarist, but as a trio of bass, drums and vocals, Blóm are more than capable of creating a wall of sheer abrasion. The album’s release date [today!] should have coincided with a UK tour, but in its place, Blóm’s kitschy virtual Imagination Tour on social media has unintentionally become the perfect listening companion to an album built upon raw frustration and rage.