Bloom – In Passing EP
Released: October 9th, 2020
Jono Hawkey // Vocals
Jarod Mclaren // Guitar/Clean Vocals
Oliver Butler // Guitar
Andrew Martin // Bass
Jack Van Vliet // Drums
Melodic hardcore act Bloom is proving why they are a force to be reckoned with. Their recent signing to Greyscale Records and their performance at Invasion Fest‘s main stage (Revisit here) are prime examples of this. The band are more than familiar with exploring emotionally sensitive topics with this EP focusing on the grief that occurs after losing loved ones, an incredibly courageous act on behalf of the band in my eyes. The EP is dripping with heartache, yet it’s punchy and raw. You’ll be bopping your head along to it in no time.I don’t want to get ahead of myself and reveal too much too soon, so lets put this release under the microscope and see what we find.
Kicking off the EP is ‘The Service’, which is a recount of events after the passing of vocalist Jono’s grandfather. Lyrics such as ‘I watched my mother give your eulogy / She hardly met my eyes / I think she saw you in me’ leaves a powerful impression on me as I listen attentively. The easy flows of the instrumentals seemingly carry a lot of weight, as if they were written from a dark place which works beautifully as the sounds of the instruments create the perfect backdrop for Hawkey’s message. ‘The Boat and The Stream’ begins with a slow yet enticing guitar riff before the band’s melodic hardcore roots quickly return to the surface. Jono Hawkey is a great mid-range vocalist, who ebbs and flows with the instrumentals seemingly with ease. In this piece, Jono questions himself with lyrics such as ‘Am I forcing this sadness for a reason to write?’ as he ponders whether the depth of his pain is necessary or not. I find Hawkey to be an exceptional lyricist, the transparency between his thoughts and lyrics are evident with an example of this being ‘I felt like a stranger as you lay there / I hope you forgive me / I hope you forget.’ I also can’t help but admire the drumming of Jack Van Vliet in this track, it’s simplistic and not over the top, yet, it is seemingly the core component of the song as the other instruments build their sound around the drumming.
The EP’s heaviest track ‘Daylight’ allows us to view Jono’s emotional state as he deals with grief. Seemingly drowning in an ocean of anxiety, Hawkey worries about the current relationships (or lack thereof) in his life. This is strongly reflected by lyrics such as ‘Anytime, any place, the ones we love can be taken away’ and ‘Have I done enough? have I shown them love?’ The song concludes with a strong, Counterparts influenced breakdown which allows the musicians to flourish, proving that they can pick up the pace and play at a faster tempo.
Beginning with the lyrics ‘The stories you told as you waited to die / I wish we could take you back to a simpler time’, ‘June’ allows Hawkey to reflect on the final conversations he had with his grandfather as he lay on his death bed. ‘Your body was dying, but your mind stayed intact’ recalls the moments Jono’s family endured the unpleasant experience of watching their beloved family member die. The beautiful clean vocals of guitarist Jarod Mclaren are the highlight in this piece; they are everything that I had hoped for.
Closing out the EP is title track ‘In Passing’ explores the ever-lasting effects of grief and how it affects Jono’s life moving forward. The fast tempo of this offering allows Jono the vent his emotions in an assertive manner while also allowing the intricacies of the instrumentals to shine bright. Toward the songs outro, lyrics such as ‘mum, I love you and I hope you’re okay / I wish that I could take all of the pain away’ brings attention to the pain that Hawkey’s mother would be experiencing after losing a parent and how powerless Jono felt as he couldn’t do anything but watch his mother live through this grief.
This is an incredibly powerful EP. The meaning behind the lyrics as well as the band’s sound sonically puts this act in the highest league of melodic hardcore artists I know. I will be waiting in anticipation to witness these songs being played in a live setting… once all that returns to normal.
BLOOM – In Passing EP tracklisting
1. The Service
2. The Boat And The Stream
5. In Passing