The punks are getting cuter and west coast punk band, TÜLIPS is paving the way. The group has been playing together since 2011 and their latest album, Doom & Bloom, is a testament to their unique and well played style.
Husky vocals mixed with some poppy, intense guitar lines –Doom & Bloom is indie pop for punk kids. It’s a bit hard to imagine the punk rockers being cute, but something about TÜLIPS music is just on point. The band offers a great twist that feels fairly refreshing. The album kicks off with “Vertigo;” it’s a slew of clean guitar chords, some percussive slaps, and those sweet female vocals. The song is almost ‘surfy’. It’s a bit of this and a bit of that and a rather excellent track. Of the more ear-catching tunes is, “Perfect Love.” The track has some distorted guitar, some more rambunctious drums, and some harsher vocals –definitely more of a punk song. TÜLIPS seems most natural in these tracks and really pulls something special off.
On a more unfortunate side, TÜLIPS does come across as just another west coast, noisy, poppy, punk band. The band runs the risk of being lost in a sea of other groups trying to accomplish seemingly similar tasks –mix one part punk, one part cute, and hope that you have great music. That isn’t to say that Doom & Bloom is generic, but rather hardly does much to really differentiate itself as an album from other current artists’ work. At the same time, the band is certainly good and thus, even if it does feel a bit overdone at this point, the tropes were done well and at least it’s passable.
Just half way through the album, TÜLIPS really steps things up. “Evil Eye,” is a bit more psychedelic, a bit rockier, and way fiercer. It’s sort of the shining star of the album, the guitar lines, mixed with everything else –stellar. Another track later on, “Queen’s Arms,” shows TÜLIPS’ crazier side. More speed, more power –it’s a great little twist. Needless to say at this point, Doom & Bloom demonstrates a massive variety in style. The album’s title is a perfect prediction of what to expect.
At their worst, TÜLIPS comes across as just another west coast indie pop band; and at their best, the band really knows how to rock. It wouldn’t be fair to call the album a must listen, but at the very least the latter half of it is. Doom & Bloom is a great mix between intense and cute, fierce and poppy –it’s a fantastic listen without a doubt.