Pocket - Full Bloom (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick


Full Bloom (2015)

Broken World Media

Full Bloom, the debut LP from Philadelphia post-hardcore three-piece Pocket, continues to show the magic that Philly has, which to an outsider like me, is something that I really want to experience first hand. The craftsmanship on the record is something that definitely feels tailored for fans of bands like The Hotelier, and more recently, the likes of Sorority Noise and Annabel. The latter two, plus another Philly gem in Hop Along, had me thinking I'd topped out my quota of emo-praise for the year, only for Pocket to come along with a swift and sturdy introduction. Their stories here are so personal and inviting as they tell of relationships to others but also to a city that continues to mystify and intrigue me.

From the cloying, introspective burns that deserve long gulps of whiskey ("Return To Sender") to the quicker, more upbeat jams such as "Big Mouth" and "I'll See You When I See You", let's just say that Pocket signal their intent off the bat. These three songs open , immediately grabbing you by the collar and reeling you in. What I found myself hooked on most was their guitars - so flexible and so dynamic that it's impossible for the indie vibe to run stale. Their music contain a lot of sub-genres mixing and mashing but mostly revolve around indie, emo and punk with a DIY aesthetic that sways from firm and hard-hitting to catchy anthems with huge pop sensibility. You see the variety on the album on "Trigger Warning" which is slower and implies a bigger sense of gravity, leading you to compare to the lighter songs. When you weigh this turmoil against tunes like "Black Warmth", well, it's on the latter where you feel a sense of cameraderie with bands like You Blew It!, Modern Baseball and Little Big League.

Some tracks feel like filler but it's not worth being that harsh over because I'd expect some middling material on a band debuting with a sound/genre that so many others are stacking brick upon brick on by now. Not to forget you've got bands like Blis and It Looks Sad churning out EPs here and there as well keeping everyone fresh, watchful and on their toes. Ultimately, Pocket stand out and they do so easily without trying hard. With a style warmly reminiscent of emo from bands like Texas Is The Reason and similar to so many others from the early 2000s, not only do Pocket rival their modern contemporaries here, but they do so in a manner that sees them pay just tribute, without aping said influences. They make the sound their own and clearly define their endearing style of play. It's a very powerful letter of introduction...