Released: 29th April 2022
Give a band enough time and space, and if they’re worth a damn, they’ll evolve into something greater. That’s certainly true of Blossoms. Though they arrived as a fully-formed, chart-topping concern, in the six years since, it’s credit to both the band and those around them that they’ve grown quite so much.
With each album, the Stockport quintet improve, honing their craft and finding confidence in their own voices. While previous full-length ‘Foolish Loving Spaces’ might have felt like a lightspeed jump forwards, the self-assured comfort of ‘Ribbon Around The Bomb’ is arguably even more impressive.
Opening with the lush instrumentation of ‘The Writer’s Theme’, much of its twelve tracks find frontman Tom Ogden taking stock of just how far the journey has taken him and his mates. Using a forced pause to refocus and step back, there’s a warmth and charm that feels unique to Blossoms amongst their peers. Three early singles – ‘Ode To NYC’, title track ‘Ribbon Around The Bomb’ and, best of all, the autobiographical ‘The Sulking Poet’ – set out a strong stall, while the seven-minute-long ‘Visions’ is a delight, not overindulgence.
For a band with two Number 1 albums behind them, and a third still hitting the Top 5, Blossoms perhaps don’t always get the critical acclaim their undoubted success deserves. ‘Ribbon Around The Bomb’ should – by any sensible measure – be the point that changes. A record that looks both inward on its authors and their past, but outwards towards the future, they may not be as flashy, bombastic or loud as some of the bands around them, but Blossoms have something few others possess. As closing refrain, ‘The Last Chapter’ provides an atmospheric prologue; four albums in, there’s a classic permanence to Blossoms. A band that don’t just connect in the here and now, but who are now making records to last for the long haul. That writer has come a long way fast.