MANILA -- The Bloomfields blew away the overflow crowd at Historia during the launch of the band's album "A Drop Into the Blue" last Saturday, June 15.
The quartet has made a name for itself for their sweet melodies of 1960-inspired pop rock and livewire performances. But on this night, The Bloomfields – drummer and vocalist Rocky Collado, guitarist and vocalists Lakan Hila and Dino Pascual, and bassist and vocalist Louie Poco -- were truly incandescent.
I will even venture to say this this was the best live performance of any local band that I have seen this calendar year of 2019 (and I go to a lot of gigs). I kid you not.
The new album— their fourth and first in five years after their Christmas album of 2014 -- still drips with its Anglo influences but they have markedly moved from the '60s jingle jangle to 1970s Cream psychedelia and '90s snarl reminiscent of Liam Gallagher. “Bubblier” is the exception as it has this Beach Boys vibe circa "Pet Sounds." They still throw in Beatles riffs here, there, and everywhere. So thank God for consistency in the universe.
For an old time music fan like me, I thought to myself in the midst of the show – how lucky can I be? In the span of a three weeks, British band The Sleeves and Filipino-American band Hafner have dropped new albums with plenty of '70s, '80s, and '90s influences distilled into a modern sound.
All three releases have been solid. With regards to The Bloomfields, this is the band’s best yet, and should go down in the year’s best lists.
The Bloomfields have always had a knack for harmony and the clever pop hook. After the grind of touring and the ups and down of a career that is into its second decade, their musicianship has really grown by leaps and bounds. However, the manner in which they translated the entire "A Drop Into the Blue" album to the Historia crowd that didn’t know the songs was incredible. They ratcheted up the intensity and the sheer power of their performance had the crowd engrossed and noticing they were witnessing something special.
You cannot say they are merely a retro band. They have always been far from that. And you cannot dismiss them as flimsy. Oh, they aren’t afraid of dropping a few bombs. “Ilaw” has that socio-politico commentary and admonitions you not to be blinded by the light. It leaves you to interpret that in the manner you see fit.
They even have something for dog owners in “Where Are You Going” that will have you thinking of your pet back home.
For "A Drop Into the Blue," The Bloomfields have brought the funk and inject a lot of passion and soul. Furthermore, they also take great care in ensuring they wrap these 10 pop gems (and four bonus tracks) that comprise "A Drop Into the Blue" into a beautiful package that features terrific art by Tej Tan.
And if you missed that album launch, then you owe it to yourself to taking the plunge with The Bloomfields’ "A Drop Into the Blue." Prepare to twist and shout.