Give - Sonic Bloom [EP] (Cover Artwork)


Sonic Bloom [EP] (2015)

Revelation Records

Give refreshes the Washington DC post-hardcore sound, and adds a good dose of modern, experimental, psychedelic material, even placing some acoustic guitar into their musical bouquet, while maintaining a jagged enough edge to keep the hardcore crowd happy. A band undeniably doing everything right, playing venues of all sizes, releasing a constant stream of vinyl, focusing on growing and developing their sound, artistically branding themselves as post-flowerchild punks; they are a group that should not be taken for granted. Give’s most recent release, Sonic Bloom, a 12-inch EP on Revelation Records, demonstrates their ability to weave in and out of the post-hardcore genre, delivered in an unpredictable fashion, leaving the listener wondering what will come next.

Starting with the title track, Sonic Bloom is introduced by standard rock guitar riffs, soon increasing distortion with a hint of tin, and Crucial John Scharbach begins his vocal performance, sounding somewhere between Agnostic Front’s Roger Miret and Fucked Up’s Father Damian Abraham. Rhythms remain bouncy and upbeat, while a chorus of, “Everyone is moving, everyone is speaking, too; too, two, so how about you?” is repeated between verses. By the end, tweaking, psychedelic tokes are spliced in, while guitars rail back and forth, and the chant, “It’s new life blooming,” is echoed.

“Learning to Die” takes on a more serious, toned down, traditional post-hardcore sound, no frills; while “Brand New Flag” brings a slight bit of grunge to punk. “Eat the Rainbow” wanders around, triumphantly, and is the most lyrical song on the EP, containing the grooviest bass lines and most diverse set of riffs, fading into the finale, “Crushed.” An interesting selection to end on, the largely acoustic, instrumental track consistently plucks a similar progression for two straight minutes, perhaps a miniature ballad left to keep the listener wondering what is in store for the next release. Whatever it means, it leaves you wanting more.

While it’s easy to say Give’s style is rooted in a genre most connected to Fugazi, they are too trippy to make that comparison, as a whole. They play in the modern direction of End of a Year/Self Defense Family, but are more structured and melodic. Perhaps it is unfair to compare Give to anyone, as they continue to create their own sound that one day other bands might be compared to. In a sea of experimental post-hardcore oddities and macho hardcore breakdowns, Give is a peaceful, reflective, psychedelic island with musical flora to call their own, Sonic Bloom is the latest creation to fully develop, and should be enjoyed while waiting for the next work to bud.