Album review: Carpool Tunnel – Bloom

NoCal indie-rockers Carpool Tunnel have one track minds, but it’s an enjoyable track...

Album review: Carpool Tunnel – Bloom
James Hickie

The majority of San Francisco’s Carpool Tunnel met via Vampr, essentially Tinder for musicians, which reflects modernity if not the stuff of dreams. Many a great relationship has had an unorthodox beginning, though, and this debut album has enough to suggest this four-piece possess a fruitful chemistry.

It’s what they do with that chemistry may prove rather divisive. The likes of I’ll Be Your Friend and Tarot Cards possess melodies baked by the sun and such an obvious breeziness you can almost hear it blowing between the constituent parts in the arrangements. It’s a sound that conjures visions of a trip to the beach – and who of us wouldn’t fancy that right about now? – but it’s packed all of its eggs into the one picnic basket for the trip. That is to say Bloom has little in the way of musical diversity, so if you’re not spellbound by the strains of opener Learning To Listen, then it’s highly unlikely that any of the 10 tracks that follow will win you over.

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If you’re taken with it, however, then you’ve got yourself a warm embrace for 30-minutes-or-so, a retro bubble that’s deeply unfashionable but also fashionably deep. The name Carpool Tunnel is, of course, a play on ‘Carpal tunnel syndrome’, a condition affecting the main nerve in the forearm, which is often the result of repetitive activities (behave!) Perhaps, then, the band is aware they’re continually ploughing a very particular furrow, and are more concerned with whether or not they do it well. On this evidence, thankfully, it’s safe to say they do.

Verdict: 3/5

For Fans Of: Weezer, Pixies, The Dirty Nil

Bloom is out now via Pure Noise.

READ THIS: 11 bands who wouldn’t be here without Weezer

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