Following the release of the 2013 S/T debut LP and hot off the heels of their split 7″ w/ Old Flings released by Kiss of Death Records, Charlotte’s Late Bloomer occupies a wholly unique spot on the time / music continuum: one that effortlessly stretches across several epochs and genres while anchoring itself in the ethos of the underground DIY community. The band’s excellent sophomore full-length, Things Change, is an ambitious, masterfully crafted effort that molds punk, hardcore, garage, shoegaze and grunge into 38 fluid minutes of energetic and thoughtful guitar-based indie rock. The trio’s grungy riffs, atmospheric feedback and slightly skewed compositions bring to mind stalwarts such as Dinosaur Jr, Sonic Youth and Husker Du. But Late Bloomer’s penchant for post-hardcore dynamics, combined with a knack for writing understatedly catchy hooks and ear-worm melodies, give the album a decidedly modern redux on ’90s indie rock. When a pop-tinged chorus peeks through the beautiful muck during barnstormers that are thick with reverb and noisy interplay, it echoes peers like California X, Ovlov or perhaps a more melancholy Pity Sex. Still, there are moments when Late Bloomer slow-burns confidently into shoegaze territory, proving that it’s just as comfortable exploring quieter, self-reflective passages as it is wrapping the disjointed squall of a sinewy guitar line around the propulsive and relentless rhythm section. There’s no doubt that a definitive statement has been made with Things Change; the record is one that borrows freely from the North Carolina band’s indie and punk heroes, but twists and shapes those influences into an experience that is singularly Late Bloomer’s own. This record is designed for people with love of the classic Sub-Pop/Merge/SST sound, but demand something new & fresh. The best of both worlds that will keep this record sitting on your turntable days at a time.
Random Split Color Vinyl