Friday, April 22, 2016

Cassette Review: Hospital Call "Chimney Swifts"

Whenever I find myself writing a review for an artist I have reviewed before I tend to go back to the first review for two reasons.   First, I like to re-read it to see how this new cassette I am listening to now has changed from the previous one, as it hopefully has grown.   And secondly, I like to see what comparisons I made in the first one because since I name-dropped Rachel Jacobs, Delta Dart and One-Eyed Doll last time it'd be weird if those were the only three names I mentioned again in this review, right?

With dark pianos and a voice without compare, Hospital Call brings out more songs that sound like they could fit well within "The Crow" soundtrack.   I feel like I need to mention Evanescence in here even if I don't, but I still can hear Delta Dart in these songs as they can also take a turn to the darkgaze side of things, like a dreamy Fleetwood Mac but dark.   The sound of Rachel Jacobs (and being a singer/songwriter) has seemingly disappeared as this has a full band sense to it.

The songs also present themselves in a lo-fi manner as you can often hear the hiss between songs stop and return, as if someone is pressing the pause button on a tape recorder.   It's one of the aspects which makes this cassette rather down to earth still because if not for that I might think it was some sort of professionally made release, the likes of which we'd see from someone like Tori Amos or Sarah Brightman.

Transitioning from acoustic to electric guitars flawlessly, these songs can also have spoken words and just overall have a feeling of being dark to them.   Those notes like when Marilyn Manson covered "Sweet Dreams" come out and so does a bit of Concrete Blonde, who weren't perhaps as sad as they were dark.   

But I do struggle with how to describe this in terms of compare because Hospital Call is just in a league all its own with this cassette.   I'd imagine it as being somewhat dark, and in a universal appeal way I'd compare that with Marilyn Manson and Nine Inch Nails, but then it gets tricky because of the female vocals and I'm not sure who I'd compare them with if anybody because in a lot of ways we, of course, all sound differently.

The chords can just help enhance the vocals being belted out.   Whether you're into "this kind" of music or not- since I will put the general term dark on it- this is still a cassette I feel you will find the appeal in because of the musicianship involved.   It is also a whopping fourteen songs, which gives it that double LP feel, but that also just goes to show you the talent as the songs never seem to overlap or leave me tired.   

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