Friday, August 11, 2017
Big Hush : "Spirit / Wholes"
From the first song you can hear how they have captured the shoegaze spirit from the 90s and shove it into indie rock songs with more speculative guitar shimmer. They vocals have more form and function that vocals typically do in this genre. Their singer actually sings out rather than just breathing into the microphone. She has some attitude in her otherwise indifferent alto. There is more of a hazy punk rock clamor to the jangle of "Pay to Play". The guitar quivers with effects and the vocals sit back further into the guitar for this one. The bass comes up in the mix to give the song more balls. There is more of a Sonic Youth atmosphere to the woozy wall of drunken guitar clouding "Say Anything". There is a more drugged My Bloody Valentine sense of altered sonics on "Cold Shoulder" , but the riffs are still written with the angular quirk of math rock. There is a heavier undercurrent that opens "Cough" . This is contrasts by one of the album's most upbeat choruses. The vocals seem to be shared by the whole band, but if they were smart they would let the girl who sang on the first song , handle the bulk of the vocals.
"Walk On" is more straight forward indie rock , with a decent sense of rock about it. "Wholes" is back to the song writing that made the first song work so well, even though it's more lo-fi and the vocals are not as forward in the the mix. The over all sound stays murky for "Honey" , but this is more of a stylistic choice for the given genre. There are some country influenced rock licks tossed into the surreal coast that can be noisy at times. The mood is similar and perhaps more country on "Wrong House", which lyrically sound like it could be sung from Goldilocks perspective. The best thing is the vocals most closely resemble what got my attention on the first song. I can hear hints of the Cowboy Junkies. The album closes with "Where I End". This is another song that highlights the girl with the more impressive voice of this band. Though here it's layered against other vocals that might not be of the same caliber. This song feels more like 60s pop than the country tinged indie rock thing they had going on in the previous song.
I will give this album a 8.5. I think I have been pretty clear in regards to what I feel is the best path for this band to take in regards to what works best for them. There are some really good songs I wish all of them were consistent enough to measure up to the first song. It does improve when she takes back control of the mic later in the album. I will keep my ears open for what these guys do in the future, if you are a fan of shoe gaze or indie rock then they are worth your time .