Late Bloomer are a power pop trio from Charlotte, NC that released this pleasant album last summer. The promo download they sent me has lived on my phone since then, and i have enjoyed listening to the record. It is not, however, life changing. That is to say, this is a good, catchy record that breaks no new ground. Late Bloomer are not going to appeal to listeners who do not already like vaguely punkish rock.
The record starts off strong with Use Your Words, in which two vocal lines dance over an indie pop song that sounds like something from The Lemonheads. One vocalist sings lightly and on the chorus a voice bellows the title like that band member is moonlighting from a metal band. It's an odd juxtaposition, but it works with the catchy riffing.
Late Bloomer follow this up with the mellower Dr. Abernathy. This adds a bit of shoegazery sparkly guitars and a lethargic trebly post-punk bass riff, as the voice drawls slowly. It builds nicely to a climax that seems the blend The Purrs and Superchunk -- catchy and distorted.
Children starts slow and lethargic with the guitar strumming long echoing notes. The whole band comes in and the song grooves along with an almost Peter Buck-esque guitar riff on the verses. There is a different vocalist than on the previous tunes, but as they say on their BandCamp, "We all sing". Either way, this is another fun song.
Late Bloomer get close to math rock on Mirror. I like the bass riff that drive the song, while the guitar wails under distortion. Things Change is slower, the drums keeping a loping beat, a voice lethargic and muttering while the guitars chime along. Nice.
Backpatches starts off like an old R.E.M. tune with the guitar kind of chiming, but the vocalist screams on the chorus as the bass hits an old Dinosaur Jr. riff. As i write that description, i think it sounds kind of awful, but they make it work.
Anesthesia is a completely different tune. The bass drives it with a funky rhythm while a voice talks some lyrics, with someone else screaming in the background on the choruses. This vaguely reminds me of some mid-80s post-punk band, especially in the sparse guitar chord that chimes behind the base... It's not bad, but not as good as the rest of the stuff here.
Late Bloomer try to go very contemporary on No Mistakes where they play that kind of jerky indie pop that seemed to infect every band coming out of NYC a few years back. I am quite honestly over that stuff, so, ironically, it makes this song the one mistake on the record.
And finally we wrap things up with Watching You, a nice crashing punkish tune, the whole band hitting hard as the voice bellows along. It's good to end the record on a noisy note.
Overall i like this record. It is not changing the world, but it does what it does quite nicely. Fans of indie guitar rock will want to keep an eye out for Late Bloomer.