No: Vinyl LPLPRL69
Pre-Order Item. Release Date Subject to Change.
Label: Ramp Local
Release Date: 8th March
Tomato Flower used to psych dream pop and dead nice it was too, the EPs were lovely but on their debut album they've developed their sound to be something more art pop, the subtle chaos of noise and in that a break of the sweetness that they're still a dream psych pop band, it elevates their sound, their natural ability to create sticky hooks in the unlikeliest forms.
For those who dig: Stereolab, Jesus Jones, Sonic Youth, Wombo, @, Spirits Having Fun...
Something happened on No - The early EPs from Baltimore's Tomato Flower were pretty, dreamy psychedelia - Warm to the touch, like looking up at the trees on a cloudless day - On No, the four-piece's debut album, those trees, that cloudless sky, have become haunted, thorny, stormy
It takes Tomato Flower from buttoned-up, almost technically formalist psych pop to something more urgent, raw, emotionally immediate. No is messier, more expansive, and through all of its chaos, the band's most rigorous artistic statement to date.
No is the band's first effort made entirely in person, the first thing tracked in a studio instead of in a bedroom. It is a highly collaborative record written and recorded by everyone, partially made live. It is very much the byproduct of a band that has done some serious touring, following a coast-to-coast tour with Animal Collective in the summer of 2022.
Lead single "Destroyer," has Jamison Murphy practically screaming over angular guitars, oscillating in a sonic space somewhere between the prettiness of Broadcast and the sludge of Jesus Lizard. It also presents an early entry point to one of No's major conceptual underpinnings: that of the breakup between Murphy and fellow co-lead vocalist and guitarist Austyn Wohlers, which occurred during the composition of the album.
It wouldn't be fair to just call No a break up album. It's far more complicated with that. No is a record about negation: I will not do this, you cannot tell me what to do, we are not living in a utopia, don't be delusional. No embraces a kind of brutal realism, a confrontation of life that only happens when you wizen up a little bit. All of it is a brutal delight, a departure from the past, a nod to a startling present.