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Hammock - Chasing After Shadows... Living with the Ghosts CD (album) cover



Post Rock/Math rock

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Honorary Collaborator
3 stars This album contains a lot of very pleasant atmospheric instrumental music--somewhere between the Ambient Music of HAROLD BUDD, BRIAN ENO, and DANIEL LANOIS and the instrumental shoegaze of ROBIN GUTHRIE (formerly of Cocteau Twins). Unfortunately, neither the individual songs nor the album as a whole contain enough variety, variance, or high points (even the usual build-build-crescendo-fade-[repeat] format typical to Post Rock/Math Rock is often nearly absent). Not until the fourth song, "Breathturn" (7/10) is there anything relatively fresh or interest piquing. The next, "In the Nothing of the Night," (7/10) feels like nine minutes of a slow candlelight processional through a graveyard. I think I kind of like it--or, at least, I would like this music to accompany me on a processional through a graveyard. "Andalusia" (7/10) belongs on 1983's "Apollo," "The Whole Catastrophe" (7/10) on ULVER's "Shadows of the Sun." With "The World We Knew as Children" (9/10) we finally hit some interesting--albeit familiar (as all Post/Math Rock becomes 'familiar' sounding)--combination of sounds and composition. Perseverance through the shoegaze start of "Dust in the Devil's Snow" (9/10) proves rewarding as some very nice melodies and emotions are conveyed by the band as a whole--though the sudden cut out and minute-long synth wash fadeout is a bit disappointing. "How Can I Make You Remember Me?" (8/10) could have been on "Plateaux of Mirror" or a 1990s JONN SERRIE album, while "You Lost the Starlight in Your Eyes" (7/10) has the ENO-DANIEL LANOIS--even with the cheesy Phil Collins-like vocals. "Something Other Than Remaining" (7/10) sounds so close to an early SIGUR RS song that it could have been from "gtis Byrjun" or "( )". Unfortunately, it doesn't really go anywhere or say/do anything new.

A very pleasant, laid back, lush/aurally-rich atmospheric listening experience--one that brings the listener in enough to evoke many visuals and other nostalgic or fanciful sensuals. Well recorded and produced, composed and performed by a nicely integrated band. 3.5 stars marked down for the fact that it won't hit the spot for every one at every moment.

Report this review (#507706)
Posted Tuesday, August 23, 2011 | Review Permalink
The Truth
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars If there's such thing as a wonderful introduction to post-rock, where one is trying to get say a friend or someone into the genre, or heck, you yourself haven't listened to post-rock yet... Go no further than the really chill band Hammock.

Drawing from the atmospherics of more ambient musicians such as The American Dollar and Sigur Ros at their most glacial, as well as the emotional and moody song structures of bands like Mono, Hammock is one of those post-rock bands that takes the best of the genre and molds it into something all their own.

Now, while there's nothing too intensely exciting about this record, it's a great starting point for someone just getting into the genre. It's accessible, yet contains that brilliant post-rock atmosphere that really makes fans of the genre with it's heartstring plucking goodness. The songs are short and while the album as a whole is fairly long, it's not like you're taking in 20+ minute GY!BE songs.

In short, this is really where beginners of post-rock should go, not too intense and inaccessible, but still beautiful and worth listening to.

4 star record.

It also needs to be mentioned that people who are fans of the genre already will undoubtedly enjoy this record and the band's other work.

Report this review (#893862)
Posted Monday, January 14, 2013 | Review Permalink

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