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Bad Bloom's new crop of singles hits the mark


Formerly based in Brooklyn, the now-Rochesterian rock band Bad Bloom makes music that gets under your skin and burrows its way into your brain.

The texture is thick and sludgy, but there’s something oddly uplifting about it, too. It could be guitarist Jay Trovato’s chunky power chords on guitar, drenched in distortion and overdrive. Or maybe it’s the quality of Kate Rogers’s alto voice, grounded and shadowy, but sharp enough to cut through the heavy layers of sound and hover over it all in a polished straight tone.

Listeners can hear emo and grunge baked into the sonic cake here, and yet it’s the band’s new commitment to pop melodies and concise hooks that makes the songs transcend their own din.

Previous singles such as “Consolation” and “Automatic” relied on meandering vocals and angular guitarwork to create moody hazes that were big on atmosphere, but lacking in memorable moments.

The band opts to keep things more streamlined on its two latest singles, “Unpopular Opinions” and “Francis the Vampire.” “Unpopular Opinions,” which was released on August 25, launches straight into a spunky guitar lick before a celestial synth line combines forces with a concise vocal melody to make a catchier-than-the-chorus verse with myriad layers of crunchy guitar chords.

Set for release on September 29, “Francis the Vampire” similarly gets to the point with little preamble. In what sounds like a cleverly veiled reworking of elements from Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” a simple, thinly ornamented two-chord progression and a shimmering three-note guitar snippet weave a harmonic fabric over which Rogers’s hypnotic singing can float in the verse and soar in the chorus. The result is a dream pop take on grunge that feels fresh, while also sounding like a welcome ’90s reminiscence.

Daniel J. Kushner is an arts writer at CITY. He can be reached at [email protected].