Featherweight – Never Bloom (EP Review)
Featherweight – Never Bloom EP
Released: 4 December 2020
Miguel Cervera // vocals
Juan Ruiz // guitar
Jorge Blanco // rhythm guitar
Carlos Sanchez // bass
Adrian Saenz // drums
We don’t tend to hear of many heavy acts out of the European mainland, however alternative/pop punk outfit Featherweight are a name worth keeping an eye on these next few months. The four-piece hail from Madrid, Spain and came out swinging towards the end of 2019 with their debut EP, A Place Where My Mind Crumbles. The EP was a tight collection of five tracks that spoke out to emo pop punk listeners everywhere, and I’m so surprised I never heard of these guys until recently. I absolutely recommend giving that EP a listen and personally recommend the track ‘Promazine’ to fuel your pop punk needs.
For their sophomore EP, Never Bloom, Featherweight have stepped it up another level, expanding their musical horizons and honing in on more intricate melodies while keeping the songs as catchy as ever. The band have even teamed up with a few of their musical friends in the international scene to help them out. Let’s take a look…
Never Bloom kicks off with ‘Snowy Road’ and it’s like the band have picked up where they left off on their debut EP last year. The song roars in with aggressive punky riffs before transcending into a punchy, catchy chorus that kinda stops way too soon. Vocalist Miguel Cervera has that notable European accent when he sings, closely similar to that of Chunk! No, Captain Chunk! frontman Bertrand Poncet—but hey, that’s definitely a European thing. The song ends ever so abruptly, but jumps quickly back in with ‘Overthrown’, an infectious mix of pop punkiness reminding you of Between You and Me and State Champs. With lyrics, “Let me cry alone, I wanna burn myself… High hopes are getting low” this all-too emo anthem will sing out to the saddest pop punk kid in the room with those upbeat, energetic riffs beating through your ears.
We are currently at two-for-two top tier bangers right now—Featherweight are holding strong. ‘Singularity’ sees the band gradually tone it down slightly, showing off some moodier undertones intertwining in the verses. The infectious groove we’ve heard from the band so far is still evidently intact, especially over the intro and into the first chorus. The song is beautifully constructed, as it ebbs and flows with the tempo. Lyrically, ‘Singularity’ sings about finding your place in this world while staying true to oneself, and that I think is the true spirit that stands out on this track.
Fourth track ‘Pretend’ might be the band’s heaviest song to date. Pummelling right in with eccentrically, fast riffs, the song sees Featherweight honing in on heavier riffs and melodies, ultimately experimenting with their musical abilities. I can’t really pinpoint on what exactly it sounds like, but I love a band who show they’re not bounded by any one genre. I wouldn’t be surprised if they’d been listening to a lot of Boston Manor while recording this EP either—it shows. This track is flawless.
‘Yuigon’ is the interlude in this short but extravagant EP and acts like a segue into final track ‘Sinking (Nothing’s Gonna Change)’. This beautifully put together track features Trash Boat vocalist Tobi Duncan reciting a poem that he penned for the Featherweight boys himself. I did get to ask the band about the essence of the track (more on that interview later this week!), and Tobi really captivated the essence of Never Bloom perfectly with the following lines:
“The wind carries the ocean’s woes,
saying ‘every flower, no matter its beauty, must fall’,
before all who would delay the inevitable.”
‘Sinking’ is the final track of this fantastic release. and it’s worlds away from anything else on Never Bloom. It flows on from ‘Yuigon’ quite beautifully with a brooding tone and melody. The final bridge features guest number two, and it’s none other than Bloom vocalist Jono Hawkey, who adds an edgier final touch to this hard-hitting post-punk track.
While Featherweight have their roots laden in the pop punk world, they’re also a band not afraid of crossing into other musical styles, and they do it fucking well. Where their debut saw the band establish themselves as a rising European pop punk act, Never Bloom sees Featherweight channelling their energy into experimenting how far they can go musically, and yeah, it’s paid off. I wouldn’t hesitate at all to recommend Featherweight to fans of pop punk and those that enjoy that genre a little more emo and angsty. Not bad for an upcoming band from Spain. And in saying that, I wonder what other alternative musical wonders Spain is hiding from the rest of the world?
Featherweight – Never Bloom EP tracklisting:
1. Snowy Road
5. Yuigon (featuring Tobi Duncan of Trash Boat)
6. Sinking (featuring Jono Hawkey of Bloom)
Never Bloom is out this Friday. Pre-save here
Review By Tamara May (@citylightstam)
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