Thursday, 9 May 2013

Hospital Garden - Mover

Album review by

More evidence that the alt-rock revival is gaining pace comes from Chicago's Hospital Garden (we'd like an explanation of how you came up with that band name by the way), although new album 'Mover' isn't their opening gambit, having been together for nearly half a decade and with a few releases already in the bag. Usual references apply and the usual sound too, although that's no reason at all to be in any way dismissive of this group. They've made a solid album here and there are a few surprises along the way, plus they avoid the slacker vibes of college-rock for something a touch more punk oriented.

They give the game away right at the start by giving us fifteen seconds of feedback before slamming in some fuzzed-up guitar and battered drums. The opening trio of 'Half Of It', 'Super Empty' and 'Berlin' are essentially made from the same blueprint, but with 'Super Empty' fizzing along with a little extra energy than the other two. Before you have time to decide that 'Mover' will be a fairly unchangeable ride that you'll either be up for or not, they mix things up by introducing the female vocals of bassist Sarah Carey on 'Null' which automatically has the effect of lowering the testosterone and adding a welcome extra dimension to proceedings.

The ferocity returns on 'In Your Thoughts' with its wall-to-wall guitars and as a rule what follows doesn't vary too much from what we've already mentioned. The ghost of Sugar's 'Copper Blue' is never far away though, and that's no bad thing. 'Pine' could be considered a highlight, as could the jangly 'Bummin'', and once again when the female vocals take the lead on 'Pragmatics' it acts as a nice between-course palate cleanser, especially as it's followed by the throat-shredding 'Crypt And Code'. Hospital Gardens are not a band who will change people's lives, but they are worth some attention and will provide you with a decent diversion for a while.

Hospital Garden's website

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