Great Bloomers Speak of Trouble

Upon hearing the first few chords of Great Bloomer's debut album, it's tempting to dismiss the Toronto, ON-based group as just another country/folk indie band. And while the quintet do owe bands like Great Lake Swimmers and Cuff the Duke (whose "Belgium or Peru" the Bloomers have essentially rewritten as "Admit Defeat") a huge stylistic debt, the depth of songwriting and musicianship quickly tip the scales in their favour. The group's previous EP was a ramshackle affair, offering no hints of the restraint displayed on songs like "The Young Ones Slept." Tying it all together is singer Lowell Sostomi's versatile voice, as suited to country rock as it is to '60s doo-wop (as shown on the title track's break down). Few bands can lean on familiar influences and turn them into a great record the way Great Bloomers have done here. (Maple)