Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Carpool Tunnel flower and blossom on Bloom

Back in 2017, Carpool Tunnel released a single; since then a number of releases saw the light of day and all of them showed a band in development with plenty of promise. Now they have a full-length album out called Bloom. Whilst it retains the band’s signature, multi-layered, laid back approach to rock – everything from The Police (‘Sunset Girl’  from last year) to the Pettyisms of ‘Getaway’ from 2018, this new one has more immediacy and bite.

Their music is a mix of 60s and 70s rock, pop and, apparently So-Cal (a geographical reference rather than dietary) surf rock too. They met up via an app that, I’m told, is the musical equivalent of Tinder…ask the kids!

The eleven tracks are certainly engaging and the undoubted highlight for me is the late 50s bluesy slow R’n’B of  ‘Empty Faces’ which evolves into a bang up to date piece of riff-rock…it has a way of taking you on a nostalgia-filled modern journey, and they throw in a decent guitar solo too. The opening track, ‘Learning To Listen’ is not the place to grasp this band quickly; this is a grower with its slow strummed and falsetto vocals, but I guess at under two minutes, it was designed as a gentle intro to the much more flamboyant and catchy ‘Impressions’ which is quality pop-rock with a tiny hint of melodic punk.

’Tarot Cards’ is nearly as immersive with its bossa nova rhythms, jangling guitar and rimmed snare. An entertaining video also accompanies ‘Flora’ (below) in which it seems that Tuesday is bin day and parking is forbidden…strange, and I cannot condone the beating up of the traffic warden!

This isn’t heavy rock; it is a happy celebration of the more frothy side of the genre, carried out with aplomb and so many catchy songs it is always a fun listen, even if some of the lyrics sometimes cut through to the modern malaise. It will always entertain and won’t offend…it also needs a few listens to realise the depth and skills on offer.

Bloom is available now via Pure Noise Records

Tom Dixon
Tom Dixon
North East born, South West domiciled music lover - mainly heavy rock & blues but not averse to other genres. I'm fortunate to have retired early & I can now take full advantage of the 40+ years I have spent collecting, listening, watching & playing (badly) & have enjoyed researching how blues in particular has shaped the music we know & love today. Now if only I could get my Strat & Musicman to sound in reality how they do in my head!

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Back in 2017, Carpool Tunnel released a single; since then a number of releases saw the light of day and all of them showed a band in development with plenty of promise. Now they have a full-length album out called Bloom. Whilst it retains...Carpool Tunnel flower and blossom on Bloom