Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Wintersleep: "Hello Hum" (album review)

Wintersleep have done well for themselves over the years.  They've put out solid albums, built themselves a following, and snagged a Juno Award.  On June 12th the Halifax outfit look to add to their list of accomplishments as they release their new full length album Hello Hum.

The louder, more energetic tracks are the one's that truly capture your imagination.  "In Came the Flood" features a "Heroes"-like guitar line and a strong tumbling beat.  "Resuscitate" wraps up with a spit-shined Sonic Youth-esque experimental journey.  That's repeated throughout the cacophonous "Unzipper".

Wintersleep strike a sweet balance on "Rapture".  It's a slick pop rock number with just a hint of fuzz to make it more sophisticated.  "Nothing Is Anything (Without You)" comes close as well.  Starting as a rather run-of-the-mill modern rock ballad, it builds and builds momentum and tension until they loose control.

The most novel track is "Someone-Somehwere".  Beginning as a trippy doo-wop number, the songs sails off into the horizon as it morphs into a futuristic sock hop.

Hello Hum is not a perfect record however (very few are).  The mid-tempo "Permanent Sigh" never fully realizes the potential of its grinding beat.  "Saving Song" is gauzy and dull, while the album closer "Smoke" is a pleasant melody, but pedestrian in pace.

Wintersleep play Lee's Palace in Toronto on June 12th.

Best tracks: "Resuscitate", "Unzipper"

Track listing for Hello Hum:
  • Hum
  • In Came the Flood
  • Nothing Is Anything (Without You)
  • Resuscitate
  • Permanent Sigh
  • Saving Song
  • Rapture
  • Unzipper
  • Someone-Somewhere
  • Zones
  • Smoke


Anonymous said...

Great listening! It's been amazing to hear the progression of this band from one album to the next. I do admit that, like so many other Wintersleep fans, I miss Paul's grainy voice from the first two or three albums. But I think my taste in music has been evolving with Wintersleep's style and I quite enjoy Hello Hum from beginning to end. Great work guys. Keep it up.

Anonymous said...

Hello Hum follows down the same path as New Inheritors a path of disappointment, Their rock roots forgotten. A happy neutered pop sound replacing the melodic intense musical journey of the first two albums and majority of WTTNS. A great effort however they have changed their platform so drastically to appeal to the masses I no longer identify with this band.