It’s hard to train the brain to think of Hawaii when you’re playing progressive post-hardcore. Maybe Mara Bloom can change that. The Honolulu outfit have emerged with a dizzying debut album, drawing on a genre-bending array of influences.
With a collection that spans aggressive breakdowns, hints of melodic punk, and Japanese City pop influence, honing a coherent collection was always going to be a challenge for Mara Bloom. With that said, for much of The Who Invite, this is achieved.
“Dirty Deeds” features Lilac Kings’ Dylan McBride, and is one of the more accessible songs on the record. Despite its pop punk undertones, the track retains the potency of the heavier tracks.
Amongst those heavier tracks are “Yomi” and “Full Circle,” which see the Oahu crew exploring djent-lined progressive metalcore. There’s a visceral bite in the delivery, but the band still ensure the choruses are inviting.
Throughout the record, Mara Bloom display a keenness to conflate technical proficiency with injections of melody. On tracks such as “Hateful Little Things,” this mechanism makes for an unpredictable ride, but one in which the band displays assurance and design.
Towards the end of the LP, the band’s experimental tendencies come out to play. The mind bending “Carmellia” leads into frenetic hardcore journey “Hateful Little Things.” Rounding off the wild ride is “Faith For a Lie,” which takes They Who Invite to its darkest enclave.
Mara Bloom have emerged with a brave and untethered debut album. But, amidst the raucous delivery, there’s a measure and deliberation to the composition. The clever interaction between heavy and melodic and the deft injection of myriad musical stylings are not implanted purely for the sake of it. The method within the madness makes They Who Invite an intriguing listen for alternative fans.
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