Thursday, April 23, 2015
Cassette Review: Hypocrite In A Hippy Crypt "Smile For Me" (Already Dead Tapes & Records)
[$5 // Edition of 50 // https://hypocriteinahippycrypt.bandcamp.com/album/smile-for-me // http://alreadydeadtapes.com/adt/portfolio/ad135-hypocrite-in-a-hippy-crypt-smile-for-me/]
The music of Hypocrite In A Hippy Crypt is definitely interesting and, yes, I do feel as if the tongue twister of a name is somewhat implausible as hippies don't tend to be hypocrites. Through these mostly acoustic songs, a number of different influences do come out which is odd for there just being mostly a voice and guitar. Of course some EFS comes out, so I'm just going to get that out of the way right now so we can move on.
My first thought of "Smile For Me" is that it is twee. This remains true on some level after the first song, but it mostly takes on an acoustic sound in the way that either a rock band goes acoustic or simply the way that an album has that one acoustic song only in this case it'd be pretty much the opposite effect as I do believe there is an electric guitar on one of the later songs.
One of the first influences I could hear coming out was Local H, specifically on a song like "OK" (by Local H, to avoid confusion) and it's kind of funny because even though I heard that influence come out first during "Bastard Falls" (a HIAHC song) there is a song later on called "Youthful and Dumb" which reminds me of the theme of the lyrics to the Local H song "Back in the Day".
Elements of The Benjamins, Soul Asylum, Blind Melon and Buddy Holly also come out as this takes on an acoustic journey throughout the history of music it would seem. The final track, which also happens to be the titular track, busts out the harmonia and sometimes in lieu of words there can simply be a lot of "la la la la" parts. (Okay, maybe it was only in that one song) It's just rather amazing how this cassette can consist of seemingly an acoustic guitar and voice yet still have so many influences and create its own sound.
On top of this we have some pretty good lyrics. The first song is about how he never sleeps in his bed and so he never sleeps, but then it's funny because the second side begins with a song about how we're all going to sleep soundly now. I'm not sure if that was intentionally planned that way or not, as it could have just been a matter of going into the second half of the set of songs that the lyrics seemingly became the opposite but you have to love how it worked out on cassette.
I feel like there was a time when people would say that the idea of acoustic guitar + vocals was done so much that it couldn't possibly be worth listening to ever again, and yet here I am, as if I'm hearing it for the first time because not only is Hypocrite In A HIppy Crypt lending his distinct voice to this but he also is playing that guitar in a way you've likely never quite heard before either.