In the latest release from Burlington’s basement folky rock superstars Linc and the gang move away from the sparse emotional sounds that made Break Arms‘ endearing beauty so powerful. Guitar arrangements on HS complement Linc Halloran’s nostalgic lyrics about not being able to grow up or out of love with 90’s jams reminiscent of Modest Mouse’s Lonesome Crowded West or Built to Spill’s There’s Nothing Wrong With Love. Despite a sound that is much more suitable for sweaty basement than a quite living room, the emotional roots of this album are as deep as any of their previous work. Lyrics of misplaced emotional investments stagnating into feelings of failure are ground away by lo-fi guitars and abrupt violent drum blast. Listening to this album is like being thrown down a staircase of every perfect memory and hitting each stair with more force than the last, and just as you think that the next stair will be to painful to bear, you are caught by Linc’s knowing and assuring voice and as the guitar riff and kick drum subsides you are left with the perfect void in the song and in that moment you can feel the pain and beauty that makes HS so brilliant. This album is a tremendous achievement for Hello Shark and the Burlington music scene and without a doubt one of the best recordings of the year.
RIYL: Modest Mouse(1996-2000), Okkervil River, Small Sins, Advance Base
PLAY: 1, 8,4, all