TÜLIPS - Doom & Bloom - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

TÜLIPS - Doom & Bloom

by Jeff Penczak Rating:5 Release Date:2015-11-17

The first think I notice about this El Lay quartet’s debut album is how much they skimped on buying the drummer a decent kit. Geez, this sounds like someone (in this case, Travis Moore) banging on an empty refrigerator box with a couple of spatulas. Producer Greg Katz didn’t do them any favours either by placing Trav so far up in the mix that he occasionally drowns out the titular females (please, no puns) who strive so hard to deliver their jangly, punky pop tuneage. But the ten bouncy songs that Taleen “Doom” Kali and Angie Bloom race through in under half an hour compensate for Katz’ overmodulated, minimalist (read: demo-quality) recordings that push all the sliders into hyper-distortion levels.

           So let’s try to wade through the muck and have a closer listen. ‘Hotspur’ suggests more than a few giggly evenings at a Dum Dum Girls’ listening party, and there’s no doubt that Gwen Stefani fans (are there any left?) will hyperventilate at the coy come-ons sprinkled throughout ‘Wait’ (OK, THAT was a pun), and the chix fire up the chainsaws to buzz through ‘Perfect Love’ with appropriately reckless abandon.

           A tender ballad (say what?) slips in to restore heartbeats to pre-panic levels, and the resulting ‘Dreamlover’ finds the gals in fine vocal form (unfortunately the tin pie pans that Moore’s tapping on continue to distract/detract). And while I commend the attempts at variety, the phasey/spacey/superfuzz bigmuff attempts at psychedelia (‘Evil Eye’) sound like they’d go over better visually than aurally.

           A promising start, but find a producer who’ll pull the levels out of the red and also accentuate your strong points (uh, the tunes), and please invest in a proper kit for poor Trav.

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