Heavy Angel, the debut EP by local psyche-rock band Big Bloom, is a powerhouse release propelled by sheer enigmatic intensity and hauntingly cathartic melodies.
Big Bloom builds a mythos in each song, a sculpted mass of thick syllabic bass lines and hypnotic vocal leads. Heavy Angel oozes confidence and swagger, and straddles a timeless leather-jacket apathy. Opening track “Step Up to My Face” blasts the doors open, guitar lead ensconcing the confrontational vocal stylings of lead singer, Katie Howard.
There’s a cross-pollination of genres constantly at play within the EP. “Country Boy” and “Punk” sound like they could be by two completely different bands, and yet they fit snugly in place right where they are. The title track is where the band reaches an apoplexy of all that makes Big Bloom what it is, a hazy after-morning memory of preceding mayhem. The songs are saturated with upbeat grooves and honest-to-god weirdness.
Yet throughout the EP there are moments such as “Wild Ride” that punctuate the party with moments of intimate sincerity. It’s a dynamic many bands often fail to develop, but Big Bloom seems to thrive on its refusal to be restrained. Their songs illustrate an understanding of the relationship between high energy and sentiment, and the juxtaposition only heightens the impact of both.
Heavy Angel by Big Bloom demonstrates the versatility of its members, invoking the vague elements of differing genres without ever really committing to a singular facet of sound. With spastic feedback-driven guitar leads, an embolismic throb of a rhythm section, and melancholic vocal croons, Big Bloom deservedly stakes their claim as one of San Diego’s best new bands.