Promise Of Redemption
When The Flowers Bloom...



by Dr Dave De Sylvia STAFF
February 11th, 2008 | 5 replies

Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: When The Flowers Bloom... is an album that can make a listener feel uncomfortable, unwelcome even, like an unwitting voyeur to a scene we were never supposed to see

Given the immense emotional power of music, it’s hardly surprising that as well as making us feel happy, sad, angry and at total peace with the world, music has the power to make us feel uncomfortable and uneasy. If anything, it’s surprising more albums don’t make us feel this way. When The Flowers Bloom... is one of those albums, an album that can make a listener feel uncomfortable, unwelcome even, like an unwitting voyeur to a scene we were never supposed to see; slightly embarrassed, yet utterly unable to look away.

When The Flowers Bloom... is the second full-length release by Promise of Redemption, the solo acoustic project of Shane Henderson, frontman with post-Lifetime pop rockers Valencia. To the casual or disinterested listener, When The Flowers Bloom... isn’t particularly remarkable or inviting. The songs are hooky without doing too much to differentiate themselves from one another. Henderson’s guitar has two speeds, virulent, aggressive strumming and slow, slippery blues, and there is little by the way of accompaniment; subtle strings creep in every now and then, while Rachel Minton of Zolof the Rock & Roll Destroyer and Procession Came Opposite’s Trevor Leonard duet beautifully with the singer on ‘Remember The First Day’ and ‘How Fast’ respectively.

As is usually the case with records of this type, its Henderson’s lyrics and vocal performance which prevents When The Flowers Bloom... from becoming just another acoustic side-project (Dustin Kensrue take note) and instead blooming into the exceptionally moving record that it is. When The Flowers Bloom... was written in tribute to Henderson’s girlfriend of some years Dana Leigh, who was tragically killed in a car accident in 2005. The record is just as confused, beautifully so, as one would expect it to be in light of the circumstances. Some tracks betray the beginnings of simple love songs. Opening track proper ‘How Fast’ is one of the very best on offer, a brisk, seemingly cheery, love song with a chorus that takes on an entirely more sinister meaning when read in relation to the desparate longing of the later verses: “how fast can you have your bags packed? I’m ready to blow this town”

‘Remember The First Day’ is another highlight. The couple seem to have had difficulties in the past and, cruelly, his hopes of reconciliation are dashed by her tragic fate. “I’ve been reading your notes / They always hinted towards the fact that you were coming home / And as I struggle with this reality / That this is all that’s left of me / Half of my heart, my mind and my body are gone.” While it times, it appears his songs are nothing more than cathartic release, there’s a more thoughtful side to the record as well. At first, the answerphone message which adorns the final bridge of ‘Remember The First Day’ irksome, like showing up to a stranger’s funeral and becoming trapped in the intimacy of the family’s grief. But further listening reveals an album that is as much a scrapbook, a sonic memorial of Dana Leigh and her relationship with Henderson. And in that way the answerphone message is entirely appropriate, and one of the many factors which makes When The Flowers Bloom... a discomforting but profound listen.

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Comments:Add a Comment 
February 11th 2008


Great, simple review. I was into Valencia a couple years ago, not at all anymore but it's encouraging to hear that this is as good as it is. I'll probably check it out later.

edit: Yeah, this is kind of lame.This Message Edited On 02.11.08

Digging: Storm and Stress - Under Thunder and Fluorescent Light

February 12th 2008


Checked it out and thought it was a bit bland and emo.

February 14th 2008


yeah it was lame. i can best describe it as very pussy

The Jungler
February 15th 2008


My brother and I had a show at a local venue that got canceled because the venue was going to book Promise of Redemption instead

Electric City
February 15th 2008


onoz the book slave =(

Digging: Foxing - Dealer

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