More faces than an A-Team convention… Yeah ok, that’s rubbish, but we couldn’t think of anything with loads of faces. Anyway, this is good, good…
Hopewell: Good Good Desperation
If ever a band had multi-personality disorder it’s Brooklyn’s Hopewell.
As adept at skewing skip-happy garage punk with the lighter tones of dustbowl psyche as they are at weaving duel drumming near-kraut and driving hardrock there’s enough here to keep even the most earnest of music psychologists hard at work.
But their commitment to style switching rarely seems contrived as Good Good Desperation hangs together as a fully-realised unified whole.
10,000 Black Masses (pt I) is a controlled freakout of staccato, terse geetar stabs with spoken-word oddball musings perfectly prefacing the swirling bluster of Stranger. Likewise the cheeky tribal mantra of Over The Mountain sits comfortably alongside the aptly-named sleepyhead Bury Me Standing outro.
But it’s the first half of the record which works best as acknowledged influence Jane’s Addiction presides heavily over the funk-fuelled clatter of Island as Jason Russo‘s vocal up a notch to the outer reaches of Perry Farrelldom while the teasing, cyclical rhythm of opener Preamble (pt II) lives up to it’s name taking two minutes to emerge from it’s heady drone before stoner sludges slams home in the final third.
Good Good Good Desperation begins in relatively nondescript fashion before the spirit of Sabbath rips it up and once again Russo extends his larynx.
If there’s a criticism, Good Good Desperation doesn’t contain enough absolute beasts; it plateaus for much of its 45 minutes on a steady, ‘very good’ trajectory, which while rarely dipping or outstaying its welcome, nevertheless fails to bring the BLAM! factor for it to live long in the memory.
But this shouldn’t put off any prospective listeners, for there’s enough personalities at work for anyone to find something to cherish. And as we all know – personality goes a long way.
For fans of: Tree surgery, The Black Angels, wax jackets
Listen to the many good good sides of Hopewell here.
Hopewell: Good Good Good Desperation (live @ the Lager House Detroit, MI 5-26-09)
Getintothis Teepee Records feature