Steeped in the post-Smiths UK indie scene of 87-89, Teesside’s Crimson Bloom has spent the past six months tucked away fine-tuning their own romantic take on the classic guitar-based, 60s-influenced music that would later morph into Britpop.
With blissed-out vocals, shimmering, chiming and jangling guitars swaggering in along fluid basslines and danceable beats, it’s hard not to compare this debut album to that slow-burning classic debut by Manchester’s Stone Roses. In fact, Andy, instigator of it all, was at the legendary Spike Island gig that saw independent music brought kicking and screaming into the mainstream and, arguably, instigated the future of festivals and large scale performances to come. His aim was to capture some of the spirit that led up to that iconic event and the quiet self-confidence that infused the music.
Followers of Andy’s recent solo work will hear this as a natural progression of what he was already exploring but also a definite step deeper into rock territory with this being the most guitar-based album from him yet (15 albums in, it’s the only one he has been involved in that uses only guitars, bass, drums and voice) although it deftly side-steps any macho posturing.
Opening with the quasi-religious clarion call ‘Through the Cloud’, with a majestic fanfare of guitars and thunderous breakdowns, the stall is set out from the start. There are three-minute pop songs in lead single ‘A Thousand Hearts’, ‘The Sweetest Kisses’ and others plus extended, funky, dub-inflected jams (‘In All The World’and ‘Love and Madness’) as well as full-blown indie anthems such as epic closer, ‘This Love Never Dies’.