OLDSEED – Bloom/ Burn (Bekassine Records)

Bloom/BurnOldseed is a name you might not be familiar with, but when it comes to touring and recording, it’s far from being his first rodeo; as he continues to work his way through extensive, underground, DIY tours of mainland Europe – particularly his native Germany. Bloom/Burn is the most recent addition to his discography – a lo-fi little jewel, recorded on 2 track tape.

‘Re/Tire’ (both the longest and heaviest track of the first half) kicks off the album; beginning with stop-starts, it rattles its way into all out rock – where forgivable comparisons to Ryan Adams or Neil Young could be made. This ushers in ‘No/Thing’; a more stripped back and menacing number, which taunts the listener with its lyrics:

“Stop wasting your time, stop wasting your breath/ You ain’t clever, you ain’t cheating death…I am nothing, you are nothing, we are nothing, there is nothing.”

Darkness and all, this is a fine number, but perhaps side one’s stand out tracks are the arguably lighter ‘Star/Bar’ – a county styled number, jam-packed with false endings or the electric and acoustic intermingling of ‘You/Me’.

Side 2, the ‘Burn’ half of the album if you will, kicks off with more of the same Americana, starting things off with the rather morose ‘Means/Ends’, which crawls, drags and eventually flows into ‘Pre/Tend’ which would feel like a continuation of the previous number, were it not for the cymbal flourish or the extended pause between the tracks. Adhering to the blueprint of Side one, these numbers are followed by brighter works, the delicately plucked ‘Take/Away’ and its positive mantra of “Stay strong…be safe”, before ‘Re/Fuse’ concludes this audio balancing act…where darkness and light gracefully coexist.

Christopher James Sheridan

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‘Bar/Star’ live: