I had the opportunity to check out another awesome band this week hailing all the way from San Juan, Puerto Rico. A pop-punk quartet known as Late Night Drive.
These guys have only been around since 2015 and already they have one hell of a resume' notched into their bedpost. (Just wait for the joke)
Only a year ago these guys were sharing the stage with the one and only Fall Out Boy (ZING! there's the Punchline) on FOB's "WinTour" not to mention their massive hometown following, and 2 EP's debuting with "All Wave and No Goodbye" and now this 2017 album of Bloom, their short life has been busy as hell.
I didn't listen to their 2017 album Bloom...at first. I first checked out their first EP "All Wave and No Goodbye", that's how I roll, I like to check out the older stuff first. It's like watching the third sequel of a movie and going "What is even going on here?" Not saying I'm going to listen to every NOFX album (I have) or watch every Friday the 13th movie (I haven't) EVERY TIME, but you get the point.
Listening to All Wave and No Goodbye was a punk show in my living room. I felt that it was wrong for me to play it at low volume or with headphones on. Certain music is just unjustified at a whisper's level and this was no exception. Each song felt like a Warped Tour mosh pit, and each song has a modern pop-punk feel with the band's own awesome edge.
I love the album art on All Wave and No Goodbye. Great minds must think alike. My band Skyline Heartbeat also has a thing for moths.
I start to listen to Bloom the way that I dive into any record, smack dab in the middle of the record and press shuffle. I'm confused. I hear a song called Limerence, it's slow, it's pretty? Holy shit a ballad. Is this the same band? Have my little boys grown up? I move on.
The next song is Nimbus. I'm punched in the face with a wall of guitar and drums and angry voices. "That's more like it!" The song picks up and slows down, groves in places, they've definitely made a leap from the "in your face" band.
Their writing now sounds like a gnarly cross between Knuckle Puck and The Wonder Years combined with Taking Back Sunday (Louder Now) and at points the dark lyrical under belly of Jesse Lacey of Brand New.
With all of this to digest I started Bloom over. The album felt out of place to me. Kind of like putting a movie on (back to movie analogies) random scenes out of order and going "well what the fuck is this all about?" and trying to piece the entire thing together.
So I played it from front to back.
The song Bouquet starts. I hear this amazing guitar feedback. I wait for it. This crescendo to smash my face in with drums. The anticipation that we typically wait for when we all hear that sound...And? Acoustic guitar? YES! This is what I love about a band like this. Left turns. The unexpected. Music at its best. The rest of the album starts to unfold. The ballad fits in place. Every fast song and "out of nowhere" riff makes sense.
Check out Late Night Drive's Bloom OUT NOW