“Culture and Concrete” is a six song cassette that begins in an acoustic manner but doesn’t stay that way and it is all the better for it. You know, back in the early 2000’s I was getting into Rachel Jacobs and I have a cassette of hers even. She had that strict sort of acoustic guitar plus vocals pattern and it was good, and sure Hospital Call could have pulled it off, but I’m glad that this does take a turn for the electric later on in songs.
Somewhere between Delta Dart and One-Eyed Doll I want to compare this with Poe as well perhaps. It’s that sort of dark vibe that makes me lean towards the goth persuasion, but I wouldn’t really consider this to be goth so much as what you might think or as what you might be expecting going into this if I dropped the g-bomb. The darker sense of it is just sort of haunting and intense more than whatever tends to go with the gothic aspect of music.
While each of these songs is musically solid and the lyrics are there as well, you have to just consider that one of the most resounding factors of this cassette as a whole are that the vocals are just so present that they almost engulf you in the way that very few others can. You’ll really just be floored by the way that she belts it out because I know that I was.
Now you could listen to this cassette and say “Well, here are songs by Hospital Call that sound good and have lyrics I like” or you could say that her voice is just so powerful… but usually, you can remark as to one but not the other. When was the last time both of these things could be said about the same artist? Certainly, Hospital Call could stand on its own legs with only one of these sentiments needing be expressed about it. The fact that both can be made just makes it all that much more amazing.