Album review: Lil Lotus – Nosebleeder

Lil Lotus reaches for catharsis but struggles to come into his own on his angst-ridden second album, nosebleeder.

Album review: Lil Lotus – Nosebleeder
Emma Wilkes

In 2021, it felt like everyone wanted to make pop-punk, and a result Travis Barker never had a free day in his diary. Having cut his teeth during the emergence of emo rap in the mid-2010s, Lil Lotus decided to migrate genres for his debut album ERRØR BØY (no prizes for guessing which member of blink-182 he brought aboard for two of its songs) but despite his polished, angsty approach he found himself swept away with the tide thanks to a lack of original ideas.

The follow-up hasn’t totally learned from those mistakes. There’s nothing outrageously offensive about nosebleeder but there’s little to distinguish the Dallas artist’s take on the genre from anybody else’s. It doesn’t offer much to latch onto either, with not enough properly memorable hooks and too much AutoTune. On top of that, the album struggles to justify its longer-than-average tracklist with its identikit (albeit decently written) tales of toxic relationships and addiction and a lack of variety in its sound, and chances are, not much would be lost if its 14 tracks were cut to, say, 10.

However, there are still signs of promise to be found. halley’s comet punches harder with its thumping drums and anguished if simplistic ‘I miss you / I hate you’ hook, while the agitated bounce of blame me on everything makes for one of the album’s most enticing moments. The pivot into chart-baiting alt.pop on when life gives you lemons turns out to be inspired, delivering the refreshing jolt of variety the album needed, which is only helped by a stylish guest turn from Sophie Powers.

If Lil Lotus taps into this potential the next time he’s in the studio, he might have himself a way of breaking through the noise and making more of a name for himself. Right now, what he’s doing is fine, but he's got so much more potential.

Verdict: 3/5

For fans of: Machine Gun Kelly, nothing,nowhere., blackbear

Nosebleeder is out now via Epitaph

Read this: Lil Lotus: “The more I got to know myself, the more I started saying things that I really felt. It came out pretty dark”

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