Beach House goes metal - Baltimore Post-ExaminerBaltimore Post-Examiner

Beach House goes metal

4/5 stars

Beach House once said the last album, Teen Dream,  was the band’s first “rock” record. If that’s the case, then Bloom is their first foray into metal (don’t worry, it’s not). While still being completely recognizable as “Beach House,” the songs on this record hit harder and sound fuller than previous material.

Opener (and first single) “Myth” serves as a bridge between the sparse-but-lush dream pop of Teen Dream and the busier sounds that make up Bloom. This is most apparent in “New Year” and “Trouble Maker,” which are brimming with ideas and take a few minutes to get to the hook. This anticipation is what makes Bloom so interesting: You are always dying to hear that one part again, whether it’s a chorus, bridge or a three-second guitar lick.

The second track, “Wild,” is the biggest departure from Teen Dream. Starting off with an ominous drone and flourished with a reverb drenched guitar riff (which lands like a thud between vocal lines), “Wild” is probably Beach House’s darkest song. It is heavy without being heavy; which is a descriptor I would place on Bloom as a whole, but this is no Kid A. Beach House has a formula. Band members are using the same instruments in the same way … everything just sounds bigger. You will find most songs start off with a repeating arpeggio’d guitar or keyboard line, eventually bursting into a hazy crescendo.

Teem Dream was largely hailed as a masterpiece. It is an album made of singles: “Norway,” “Zebra,” “10 Mile Stereo,” “Walk in the Park.” There is a lot of stand-alone material there. It is a real challenge to follow an album with such well-regarded songs, but Beach House succeed by creating a cohesive album, not just another collection of excellent songs.

Bloom is meant to be experienced in one sitting, with each track complimenting the others to work toward a greater goal. This mentality may be lost on many iPod wielding joggers, but it is important to many music lovers; the “album” is what sets active and passive listeners apart. Vinyl remains popular today not just because of the obvious physical collectability, but also because vinyl forces you to sit and listen. To have an active role as a listener. Beach House wants you to actively listen to Bloom whether you listen on vinyl, iPod or Spotify.

Beach House’s greatest advantage is how the popular combination of guitar and keyboards in indie rock sounds so original. With Bloom, the band maintains a complete grasp on the distinct sound, but still manage to surprise.

About the author

Navid Marvi

Navid is a very talented artist. He uses his talents at Moment Magazine were he works as a designer and he is part of the band The Technicians. For a long time now he has been following the local and national music scene. He has great insight on a bunch of brand new bands that you may enjoy.   Today's Tune Contact the author.

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