Friday, 1 March 2013

Hospital - When The Trees Were Higher

Album review by

Ahh, isn't it absolutely brilliant when out of nowhere you stumble upon a new band who are so instantly, lovably fantastic that you can't stop listening to them? And isn't it even better when you discover that it's not just another band from London or New York or wherever? We're willing to bet that none of you are familiar with the far eastern Russian town of Komsomolsk-on-Amur. Kudos if you are though, we have to thank Wikipedia for our knowledge, the only place in the east of Russia we could actually name was Vladivostok. It's a part of the world that rarely gets mentioned for... well, anything. This is the location where Hospital came into being, although they've now relocated to Moscow, possibly to be closer to the western countries who have clearly influenced their music.

They originally formed in 2011 and released a single in the autumn, and now comes this debut mini-album 'When The Trees Were Higher'. You wouldn't guess any of the facts we've mentioned about the band; their music could easily be part of the US indie/alternative scene, but they have some mighty fine tunes, and tunes that grab you right away; literally the opening bars of first track 'Time Will Tell' had us hooked. It's classic jangly indiepop and it's as moreish as they come; bouncy, sunny, optimistic and melodic. It doesn't contain a shred of originality and it's not supposed to, the reason for all these songs is simply the joy of good music. 'Spellbound' is more classic guitar-pop that relies solely on being a damn fine tune with just a hint of The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart to it.

Hospital don't stick to one sound, they're not a formula band. 'Secret Place' contains traces of funk and 80s pop, but remains tastefully done; single 'Falling' is ever so slightly more mainstream and possibly not the first track you'd pick to showcase the band's sound, yet it's far from being a bad song. They strike rockier ground with 'Safe' which employs a little extra crunch to the guitars before giving way to the soft center of a pretty chorus. We're assuming that the contrast between this song and the following 'Made Of Sand' was planned, as gently strummed guitars fade in and we're back to melodic pop land; it's an enjoyable place to be and the strings add a touch of glamour to proceedings. Finally 'Hard 'n' Heavy' takes us on a trip to the 90s alt-rock scene that so many others are plundering at the moment. They pull it off as well as anyone. Really these are some very good songs, and at a name-your-price download you can't go wrong.

Hospital's website

Stream or download the album

For more news, reviews and downloads follow The Sound Of Confusion on Facebook or Twitter