Inventiveness, sonic maximalism and an uplifting attitude are the core elements of the debut LP from Minneapolis band Hippo Campus. Keeping the spirit of artful indie pop/rock alive, the 13-track landmark is a rich and colourful record with a blur of joyful guitars, sweet vocals and a whole host of other instrumentation that is sure to sustain intrigue. Released as Vinyl LP and CD on the Transgressive label.
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Poor old brave Hayden Thorpe. I wonder whether when he was getting the piss taken out of him in Cumbrian pubs did he think that one day everyone and his dog would copy his quivery vocal style? There's something of the Wild Beasts front man in the neighing voice of Jake Luppen's voice on this the second album from Minnesotan art pop quartet.
When I say art-pop I mean what passes for art -pop these days which is polished slightly angular compositions which on 'Way It Goes' really charms. It's a lovely blast of functional dream pop with nods to Phoenix and Grand National. It doesn't take them long though to drift far too far towards the kind of Bastille-style slick pop confection and on 'Epitaph' put everyone over 40 off by pitch shifting the vocals.
At their best Hippo Campus are reminiscent of the stop start pop of Vampire Weekend and on 'Simple Season' match this to some 6 Music friendly hooks but I'm finding the whole thing way too slick and shiny and ear hurtingly compressed so by half way through I'm quite happy to hit the 'off' switch.
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