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CD REVIEW: Backnbloom - Backnbloom
By Cyrus Rhodes - 10/02/2009 - 12:30 PM EDT

Artist: Backnbloom
Album: Backnbloom
Label: Independent
Genre: Electronc Rock and Dance Rock
Sounds Like: Everything but the Girl
Technical Grade: 8/10
Production/Musicianship Grade: 8/10
Commercial Value: 9/10
Overall Talent Level: 7/10
Songwriting Skills: 8/10
Performance Skill: 7/10
Best Songs: Real to Me
Weakness: Drum Programming
CD Review:

Backnbloom hails from Hollywood, California. The band is comprised of 2 core members; vocalist Lori Steele who also plays violin, and some guitarist, engineer, programmer dude named Alberto Beka. Their self titled, debut 5 song EP logs on at just over 20 minutes in length, and their internet presence is above average for a new band.

As this EP kicks things off with Track 1 Hollywood Blvd you canít help but notice some pretty impressive musical soundscapes along the way. You will notice an impressive blend of guitars, violins, harmonies, and lots of cool things that add variety and depth to the music. The overall mix goes down clean, and the songwriting abilities are both consistent and rock solid. I might add Lori Steele also serves up some impressive vocals. Rather than play it safe, Lori confidently showcases a strong vocal ability by taking some impressive risks on several songs. She delivers impressive falsettos and pushes the natural accents extremely well. Her vocal harmonies are extremely effective and well placed, oh and did I mention she plays violin. The best songs on this EP are clearly track 1: Hollywood Blvd and Track 5: Real to Me Ė dance mix. This final piece to me really brings home what Backnbloom is all about. A catchy pop-techno, trance-like dance groove, with lots of musical depth, served hot via honey coated vocals. Track 5 Real to Me is a hit waiting to happen. Itís pretty much a grad slam, and clearly the best song on the EP.  Amazing!

Ironically the worst thing about this production is some of the electronic drum programming. Over time the electronic drums take a major toll on the listener. For example on track 3: This Time and track 4: New September the electronic drums sound real corny against the souped-up rock parts. Techno rhythms just donít sound right meshed with loud distorted guitar. Those parts clearly call for a heavy bottom-end drum groove. Perhaps Backnbloom ventured to far from their genre here. Also on Track 2 Am I Pretty, and Track 3 This Time, the drum fills are so robotically annoying, over time threy become a major distracter. Give the drum fills a break Beka - stick to the beat! Keep the rhythms simple, and easy to follow especially within the context of this genre.

Overall this EP is an impressive release from Backnloom. As mentioned earlier Backnbloom works best served hot with techno-trancelike dance grooves, electronic soundscapes, and catchy melodic vocals. They should stick to that plan and stay away away from the college rock vibe. Given the name of the band and the context of all the visuals, Electronica Pop persona would suit them well. Lori Steele and Alberto Beka are a force to be reckoned with. They both clerly possess a lot of talent and have serious potential. With a little luck, over time Backnbloom should bloom into something truly groundbreaking.     

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