Released: 12th November 2021
Amsterdam’s alt-rockers Pip Blom are back with the notoriously difficult second album, ‘Welcome Break’, conceived while touring the country and subsisting off British motorway service stations. If they struggled with the classic industry hurdle, it doesn’t show.
The album is effortlessly upbeat, even the darker moments painted in decisive and dynamic colours. From the bluesy, rockabilly opening of ‘You Don’t Want This’, to the sour twang of ‘I Love the City’, via the woozy space age breakdown of ‘12’, it sounds consistently Pip Blom. It conjoins their fuzzy rock with a range of disparate elements, bringing them all together with their trademark buoyancy. Throaty guitars combine with anthemic choruses to create an immensity that is unfailingly casual.
At the centre of the band is the sibling bond of Pip and Tender Blom, whose intermingling vocals – crystal clear and grungy, respectively – forms the centre point. It is the tension between these two styles that supercharges the record, providing an acerbic tint to their muscular pop tones. It’s at its best during ‘Keep It Together’, a sweetly tender number that retains the band’s belting dynamism, whilst emanating a warmth and a genuine tenderness.
‘Welcome Break’ bursts with optimism and energy, primed for the vibrant return of live music. It is the brash, ballsy soundtrack to your alternative high school prom, a party for the oddballs and the nonconformists. It is confident and celebratory, looking forward to the future; rippling with cinematic moments, it’s an album to be proud of.