Album Review: Pastel Faces – Blossom

3.5/5

Seattle based Pastel Faces look to announce themselves as a progressive prospect in the alternative scene. Their diverse and dexterous collation of influences from emo, pop-punk, and hardcore make new EP Blossom a thought-provoking debut.

Explosive opener “Silver Lining” showcases the melodic hardcore influence of Silverstein and Counterparts. The mathy guitars take center stage on a track that puts impact at the forefront of the song. There’s plenty of J-Rock influence on show across the album, and the band begins sowing the seeds of that early on.

Pastel Faces experiment heavily on the debut record, and more often than not their ambition pays off. “Sakura Bloom” hones a mesmerizing juxtaposition of clean and scream vocals, which interweaves gorgeously with euphoric guitars. It’s evident the band have already developed an understanding of where technique should make way for storytelling, and how to move from high-octane to contemplative on a dime.

“Stay”, sounds like it ripped from the 00s, with throwback metalcore colliding with Senses Fail-esque emo/alt rock. Indeed, Pastel Faces explore the width and breadth of alternative on the debut record, and “No Requiem” melds a barrage of devastating riffs, interspersed with cleaner elements. Nods to the likes of Dance Gavin Dance and Comeback Kid on show throughout their latest single.

Structurally, “Heaven Sword” is the most traditionally pop-punk track the album. Pastel Faces incorporate Midwest emo inspired breaks as the band tackle themes of mental health and self-worth.

With Blossom, Pastel Faces have crafted a genuinely intriguing debut EP that takes you on a rollercoaster of sonic expression. The imaginative album brings the heart and emotion of post-hardcore and the expansive guitar work of the modern prog/”swancore.” Amongst the tidal wave of intricate instrumentation comes a cathartic ambience that is speared by the convergence of clean/scream dual vocals and cascading guitars.

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