BLOSSOM HILL: Under the North Star: CD

This Finnish melodic pop punk band has been at it for twelve years and seem to have a nice formula. They utilize some pleasantly distorted punk instrumentation with sugary vocals without sounding like they’re trying to be something other than pop punk. The vocal harmonies on some of the tracks are really emotive and add a lot to the performances throughout the record. The drumming is pretty subtle and unambitious, but occasionally comes through very nicely with brief introductions to some of the songs, and stands out in faster paced tracks like “Burken.” The guitars manage to balance emotive prettiness with aggressive riffing very well. This release did seem a bit long winded, though. Several cuts on this album seem to be predicated on very similar ideas, and could probably be trimmed for conciseness. This is a good pop punk record. –Anna Farr (Self-released)