By Liam Prost
RALEIGH kind of rips. Powerhouse Bloom opens with a short hit of percussion, followed by a glimmering guitar voicing. What follows is a meditative intro, a slow drum pattern, a bubbling bass line, and a warm cello set the scene. It isn’t until the first chorus, where a legitimate guitar riff cuts through the bustling mix, where it becomes clear that this is a bigger and more mature RALEIGH than Sun Grenades and Grenadine Skies.
It’s their third full-length release of bumpy dream pop, but this time with sharper edges, and a keen ear for pacing. RALEIGH has always played with quick starts and stops, and stabbing transitions, but mostly within the spectrum of playfulness. Powerhouse Bloom cuts parts in and out with precision, and with a completeness of vision. The experimental but deliberate studio production work here invites a tonal and musical cohesiveness, filling in dead space with ambient sounds and long reverb trails, and adding texture with a grimey compression or phaser on the vocals.
There is so much viscera and effect to Powerhouse Bloom, it reeks of deliberation and experimentation like we’ve come to expect from RALEIGH, but with a force and dynamism that transcends anything that’s come before.Independent, Powerhouse Bloom, RALEIGH, Record Review