HOPEWELL - Another Music

Hopewell - Another Music

5 songs
24:37 minutes
***** ***
Tee Pee


Jason Sebastian Russo joined Mercury Rev at the tender age of nineteen in the early Nineties, but left the band in the early days of the new millennium to concentrate his energies on his new band Hopewell, named after his hometown in the state of New York. Until now they have released already a couple of albums and EPs, with their last longplayer Good Good Desperation having come out already back in 2009. Another Music is not exactly a new album, but a collection of material recorded in the last few years, available either as a two track vinyl seven inch or as a more interesting five track CD.

The opener Needle In The Camel’s Eye is a faithful cover version of the Brian Eno’s glam rock classic from 1974. To make matters even more attractive, Hopewell got Mark Gardener of Nineties shoegaze legend Ride to provide vocals. The King & The Canary is a mellower alt-psyche rock track that makes Russo’s musical past very evident, even though Hopewell sound crunchier and less effeminate than Mercury Rev did towards the end. The following three tracks are limited to the CD edition, with This Is This being the most interesting among them. This is another masterstroke that doesn’t have to hide behind the likes of Spiritualized or Flaming Lips, and especially the chorus with its high pitched vocals gives the song a more contemporary feel. Over The Mountain (Tarbox Version) is a new mixed take on a track from their last longplayer, and although I am not familiar with the original, I still like the groovy rhythm and squeaky vocals on this one. Finally the EP ends with the experimental The Six Knowables which combines a steady drum and bass beat with free jazz saxophone extravaganza. I guess that is something you are allowed to pull off in the more forgiving format of the EP.

Another Music gives a good impression of Hopewell’s skills, and even might seduce me to check out their back catalogue. Let’s hope that their next longplayer won’t have us waiting for too long.

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