Rapidfire Reviews – 6/2/2015

Posted: by Henderson

Hop Along – Painted Shut          

Painted Shut is a clear Album of the Year contender. Let me just lead off by say that. I purchased it on vinyl after my first listen, it’s just that good. Hop Along are a gritty indie rock band, but that seems far too simple description of their music. The vocal performance on this album is absolutely stunning. The sheer variety in vocal styles throughout distance vocalist Frances Quinlan from her contemporaries. Each line seems to hit the listener from a different angle. It is nearly impossible to predict where the emotional blows will come from. The lyrics are strong. The guitars are entrancing. Hop Along were a good band. They’re now the kind of band other bands should aspire to be. Listen to this record. Every track has its advantages, but my favorites are ‘Horseshoe Crab’, ‘I Saw My Twin’ and ‘Powerful Man’.


Streaming: http://www.stereogum.com/1798332/stream-hop-along-painted-shut/mp3s/


Eskimeaux – O.K.

Eskimeaux sometimes sound like The Postal Service. Their delicate tones send my mind floating into deep thoughts. O.K. isn’t totally solid thoughout, some parts fade into the mix. But when they hit their stride, the impact is incredible. The last minute of ‘I Admit I’m Scared’ is an explosion of sounds that totally caught me off guard. After a 3 minute buildup it made the hairs on my arm stand up. It’s goosebumps good. And that’s how good Eskimeaux can be. Give O.K. a shot.


Streaming: https://eskimeaux.bandcamp.com/  


Superheaven – Ours Is Chrome

Superheaven’s Ours Is Chrome is a rock record. From the first tone of the first track, just pure rock. Sure it gets a little predictable, and it is exactly what we expected from Superheaven, but who cares. This thing is perfect for headbanging. I was initially unenthused, but I keep returning to the record every time I feel like jamming out. If you’re a fan of their prior album Jar then you’re probably going to like this LP.


Streaming: https://superheavenband.bandcamp.com/album/ours-is-chrome


Winter Break – S/T

Winter Break explode forward. Like a stone rolling down a hill, they aren’t smooth or glossy, they’re bumpy and rough and constantly accelerating to the conclusion. I loved these guys’ former band Summer Vacation, but after some minor lineup changes they’ve reformed as Winter Break. They’ve been attributed as influencing Joyce Manor and the similarities are there. Messy vocals over pure punk instrumentals, this is the kind of band that seems made to play a packed house show screaming through broken equipment. They’re fun and they’re real. You can tell these guys get it. This album had fewer great songs than I’d hoped but it’s pretty solid and 4:49 stands out as a bouncy jam that’s one of my favorite songs so far this year.


Streaming: https://laurenrecords.bandcamp.com/album/s-t