Purple Bloom: Purple Bloom
Purple Bloom

Shoegaze knows no borders, as this short, twenty-five-minute set by Japanese outfit Purple Bloom proves. Based in Tokyo, founded in 2008, and comprised of vocalist Linden and guitarist-instrumentalist Tsuyoshi (aka hate everything you hate), Purple Bloom offers its own spin on My Bloody Valentine-like roar on its self-titled and self-produced debut mini-album. Par for the genre, it's well nigh impossible to decipher the lyrics when they're delivered in Linden's high-decibel wail, but the duo have generously included the lyrics in both Japanese and English in the CD booklet.

Recorded at their tatami room, the material is as much dreampop as shoegaze (Cocteau Twins is cited as another major influence), especially when Linden's vocals are presented as a smooth, high-pitched whisper that's soft but not so soft it can't be heard above the instrumental cyclone. The bass-powered instrumental attack that opens “Kisses Bloomed” is vintage My Bloody Valentine—pleasingly so—and the guitar storm Tsuyoshi generates alongside the equally vicious drumming is powerful, too. A drumless interlude, “Lucid Dream,” gives center stage to a strangulated guitar episode before “Star Is Mine” explodes in classic shoegaze fury—a seductively melodic song, incidentally, that might be the recording's best argument for Purple Moon's no-holds-barred take on the genre. There's nothing here shoegazers haven't heard before, but Purple Bloom certainly shows itself capable of matching its better-known counterparts roar for roar.

July-August 2012