Though many people define themselves by their place in the punk-rock world, there are definitely new stylistic variations branching out of that overarching genre. Experimental sounds often ebb and flow, with some fading away and some developing to be wildly popular. At the moment, mixing genres and melodies to create something familiar yet somehow brand new is a style that is flooding the sound waves, and this newfound popularity is giving rise to bands such as Separations.
Hailing from Atlanta, this melodic rock quintet, Separations, is making their claim to fame with their sophomore full-length, Bloom. As they move on from their debut album, listeners can hear how the band is maturing and finding their own voice by creating a record with a consistent sound throughout.
Bloom fades in with the intro to “Hollow,” a heavy hitter that truly sets the tone for the whole album. As the tracklist moves on, the record keeps consistent with its powerful sound and heartfelt message, but it isn’t afraid to get experimental with its melodies. “Clarity” and “Lionheart” are both personal favorites of mine, effortlessly mixing the band’s strength in heavy riffs with very catchy choruses. “Exist” is incredibly powerful while simultaneously slowing down the intensity of the album with a more melodic tune, and “Stargazer” breaks all expectations with a totally unexpected, plucky riff reminiscent of a classic video game theme.
Vocalist Will Crafton weaves his way through the record, jumping back and forth between smooth serenades and very raspy screams. Although this works incredibly well in songs like “Passenger” and “Walls,” it sometimes seems too rough and quite theatrical, and this comes out in tracks like “Brother.” And while Crafton’s voice stays relatively steady throughout Bloom, the rest of the band members–Myles Priest (guitar), Tyler Whitfield (guitar), Brenden Worthington (bass), and David Richey (drums)–diversify the album with experimental melodies ranging from pop, to heavy metal, to electronic.
Bloom’s prize, however, truly comes from the lyrics within. The album shares heartbreaking tales of loss and defeat, as well as the message of finding strength in hard times as Crafton sings, “It’s not enough to feel like they do / I speak in voices that I hope are getting through / Life will beat you down, you’ve gotta get back up / Until that day, I’ll be your clarity.” The lyrics show both sides of personally struggling through periods of loss, as well as being a rock for others in difficult situations.
Evidently, Bloom is a carefully curated record that shares a harrowing story of strength in the face of adversity, whilst showcasing Separations’ dedication to creating a unique sound. Though it is only the band’s second album, Separations is already finding a place in the rock world and marking their territory next to similarly experimental bands.
REVIEW BY ALEXA FRANKOVITCH