album release

Honeytiger - Brain On The Wall Review

One of our Philadelphia favorites, and long time Hook supporters, Josh Glauser and Isaac Clark are Honeytiger. Two-piece, Philadelphia-based indie-rock band just released Brain On The Wall, their first full-length album, earlier this month. According to their bio on their website, “Honeytiger takes on catchy alt-rock, dark indie-rock, and broken-hearted slow-motion car crash songs,” which is like, such a hook for me that they must have reached inside my mind and fished out the weird idiosyncrasies of my music taste. Broken-hearted slow-motion car crash songs are my favorite songs. One could argue that’s all I listen to. I’m such a drama queen.

For something that was recorded in a basement (from the mouth of guitarist & vocalist Isaac Clark), Brain On The Wall sounds nothing less than professionally mixed to me. Honeytiger has excellent musicality, and this LP harks upon previous releases in a real, grown-up way. Clark’s vocals will remind you of bands like Cage the Elephant and Muse, while the instrumental aspect is a classic indie sound that shouts: this band is going places!

Before we move on, check out the tracklist below to follow along!

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Brain On The Wall Tracklist:
1.
I Quit
2. Dawdler
3. Point Breeze
4. Sundrop
5. South Philly Summertime
6. Ultraviolet Buzzing Machine
7. Piece of Cake
8. I’m Alright
9. Confinement Howl
10. Robot
11. Same Fears
12. Endless Somersault


This is a perfectly succinct album, and a pleasant listening experience all the way through.

Mellow and relaxing for the most part, one of those albums you like to have on in the background, maybe while you’re studying or getting some work done. This feels on-par with Honeytiger’s previous work - their debut full-length drawing upon the successes of their EP work allows the band to come full circle for long-time listeners, while also remaining welcoming to new fans. A smooth, indie overlaid with hard-hitting guitar and percussion which feels like the first sip of coke on a warm day.

I loved track nine, “Confinement Howl,” as short as it was, and the final track, “Endless Somersault” (a couple of those car crash songs). “Confinement Howl” and an earlier track, “Ultraviolet Buzzing Machine,” seem to serve as transitional songs - they’re both recorded the same way, with nothing but a soft acoustic guitar and vocal, which sound like they’re playing through an old record. As tracks six and nine, they bookend the middle and end of the album, and I really appreciated that technique.

Since our first review of Tangerine back in 2017, and Half Clean in 2016, Honeytiger remains, to us, a band to watch out for, one on the rise. Their sound is familiar, sharing similarities to other well-known indie bands, I’d say these guys have a pretty good chance of making it.

Check out Brain On The Wall available for streaming and purchase now. You can get a digital album or a vinyl! All of the band’s links are available on their website. 

Honeytiger: Facebook // Twitter // Instagram // Website // Bandcamp

Burn The Louvre - We'll Be Just Fine Review

Design by:  Marah Montague

Design by: Marah Montague

Canada natives Burn the Louvre, up-and-coming indie rock band, have recently released their new EP, We’ll Be Just Fine. With a total of six songs and a striking album cover that draws the eye, We’ll Be Just Fine is Burn the Louvre’s second EP, and a great step forward onto the music scene. Their first EP, Post-Romance, was released in November 2014.

The new album has been featured on college radio stations across Canada such as Mohawk College & McMaster University in Ontario, Ryerson University in Toronto, University of Guelph, and Brock University in St. Catherine’s. Burn the Louvre has also been featured on several music blogs in their home turf, but now, The Hook Journal is giving them a warm American welcome. 

Check out their social media down below!

We'll Be Just Fine Tracklist:
1. Fast Cars & Porn Stars
2. Body Lies
3. Give Me Love
4. Simpler Places
5. Breakdown
6. We’ll Be Just Fine
 

 

 

 

We’ll Be Just Fine starts off with the track “Fast Cars & Porn Stars,” which begins with a guitar melody that immediately makes my ears perk up. The song introduces the vocals of frontman Jordan Speare. Speare’s voice has a similar cadence to other indie rock singers like John Gourley of Portugal. The Man, and Nicholas Petricca of WALK THE MOON. The songs on We’ll Be Just Fine sound like something similar to what a Philly native would hear on Radio 104.5. My personal favorites were “Give Me Love” and “Simpler Places.”

The lyrics to “Simpler Places” are all too relatable – not to call on an overused sentiment, but it does really apply here. The chorus of “Well I don’t wanna try living a lie for the rest of my days, for the rest of my days and the rest of my nights,” stood out to me the most. This song is one I would expect to find tucked away in the soundtrack of a coming-of-age indie movie; the lyrics tell the story of that sort of journey of finding yourself, of reaching a point in your life when you realize what you truly want and who you want to be.

“Simpler Places” has a music video out, which you can watch here!

An honorable mention goes to the song “Breakdown” for its instrumentals. Burn the Louvre is certainly a band to watch out for, and We’ll Be Just Fine is worth a listen. Download the EP now and be sure to follow Burn the Louvre for more updates!

Burn the Louvre: Facebook // Instagram // YouTube // Twitter

Curtis Cooper - Messy Review

Photographer:  Stavi Xinou

Photographer: Stavi Xinou

It's been almost two years since we first met Curtis Cooper in a coffee shop on the corner of 13th and Pine Street in Philadelphia, PA. Our friendship with Curtis has only gotten stronger since that first interview over hot chocolate and tea, and Curtis has grown in innumerable ways that only make us feel proud to know them.

Their latest achievement being Messy, an 11-track deluge of emotional outpouring that breaks out from Curtis' Laughing In Line in a way that remains, at it's core, everything that we already loved, but more bruised and bleeding and ready to give. Released on November 13th, Messy has been ruminating in our minds since, a daily listen on the car ride home or while writing - and we're pretty sure you'll feel the same after taking a listen.

But first, semantics.

All songs were written and arranged by Curtis Cooper, engineered by Scott Stitzer and Nick Barnes, produced by Scott Stitzer, and mastered by Ryan Schwabe. Curtis Cooper (vox, guitar, synth, drums track 11, whistle), Jack Zaferes (bass), and Scott Stitzer (drums, synth, percussion, mad scientist) put together Cooper's ideas to create Messy & with all of that tandem effort, you have an impressionable, inescapable album to get lost in.

Check out the tracklist below to follow along!

Album Art: Erik Savage

Album Art: Erik Savage

Messy Tracklist:
1. Freak Out
2. Philly Jelly
3. Crazy
4. Interlude 1
5. Percs of Life
6. Yeah, No
7. JKayla
8. Everyone Loves You
9. Everybody's Dying
10. Interlude 2
11. Is It Real


Messy has taken Curtis a step further, if we're allowed to say so. In comparison to Laughing In Line, Messy's realness leaves listeners feeling connected to Cooper in a way that Laughing In Line always kept at arm's length - while that isn't to discredit the debut album in anyway, as it's still one of our favorites, it seems more so to do with the fact that Curtis Cooper is growing as an artist and Messy is just that - messy and trying to figure that out with the poise and grace that only Curtis knows how to show.

Opening track 'Freak Out' is unlike anything we've heard before from the artist, a stellar opening track as it jumpstarts the rabbit hole that Messy cultivates, fall into the spaces of mind you haven't been dealing with. With obvious rock influence, this track maintains a tone that feels comfortable for the album to begin with. 'Philly Jelly' and 'Crazy' are going to be staples of the album, reminiscent of Laughing In Line in sound and form, with important lyrical content that we feel also really makes up a huge chunk of this album. 'Percs of Life' and 'Yeah, No' follow suit, are easy to listen and relate to.

The two interludes are really interesting to me because the only successful interludes I've ever heard are in more conceptual albums and usually flow casually in between tracks. However, the interludes here feel more weighted and exciting as they not only flow between tracks, but they also offer up feeling whether that be via whistling in 'Interlude 1' or the pure instrumental of 'Interlude 2,' honestly I was just really blown away by the cohesiveness of these two tracks because at first glance it can be a bit off putting. 

Stand out tracks for us are 'Everyone Loves You,' 'Everyone's Dying,' and 'Is It Real.' These tracks stand out because they feel new, fresh and exciting for Curtis. Maybe it's just where our head is at right now, but we really connected to these three tracks on every level they experience - especially 'Is It Real' the closing tracks of all closing tracks, seriously what the heck listen to it right now. Honestly, though, we could be here forever talking about how much we love Curtis Cooper. Their sound is ambitious and addictive. They take what we love about the Philadelphia music scene, that guttural, instinctual, clenched feeling of emotional expression and put it into one place. This album is easy to listen to, it ebbs & flows against itself in a way that feels familiar but also new. 

Check out Messy, check out Curtis Cooper, their album release show is on January 19th and you definitelty don't want to miss out on that or this album. Below we've got their social media links, and you can check out their bandcamp via the tracklist above! As always thanks for reading and catch up with us next time!

Curtis Cooper: Facebook // SoundCloud

Adventure Lost - Going Back To Sleep Review

Photographer: Richard Sanders

Photographer: Richard Sanders

Philadelphia two-piece, Adventure Lost have been anticipating their debut full-length for nearly 7 months, and we've been on the edge of our seats waiting for it as well.

Larry Iaccio (Drums/Vox) and Jack Faracchio (Vox/Guitar/Piano) created Adventure Lost back in 2015, and have been working on getting to this point since then. Going Back To Sleep is a concept album that could only exist after years of working through what they wanted and hoped for from Adventure Lost: an electrifying progressive pop sound that leaves listeners completely on their toes.

Going Back To Sleep was recorded and mixed by Michael Richelle at M Sound Studios, and mastered by Dennis Mortensen. The 11-track concept album explores different, dream-like themes such as love, death, life & all of the weird things in between. An adventure for sure, Going Back To Sleep is one of the most exciting album's I've had the opportunities of reviewing this year just due to it's dynamic presence.

Check out the tracklist below to follow along!

Going Back to Sleep Tracklist:
1) Dream of Dying
2) Death by Dreaming
3) Blue Dawn
4) Istanbul
5) Dance Again
6) Love in Ruins
7) Hanging by a Thread
8) 7/4 (What You’re Looking For)
9) Look in the Sky
10) I Won’t Wait (Dangerous)
11) Another Life

 

"Dream of Dying" is a powerful, but smooth opening track for Going Back To Sleep. A song that sets the pace for the entire concept album, a lull into the void that Adventure Lost create for listeners. The anticipation of the opening track slides it's way into "Death By Dreaming," and "Blue Dawn" which are entirely instrumental.

Released prior to the album as a single, "Istanbul" is a stand-out track due to it's sheer magnitude and impressive encompassment of the album's entirety via sound, vocal performance and overall vibe. It revitalizes the album after the listener spends two minutes in the instrumental black space that track two & three create - maybe dreaming. "Dance Again" follows suit with a smooth guitar riff and the echo of two voices to create a tango for the listener. 

"Love In Ruins" is reminiscent of They Might Be Giants in the unusual harmonization between the two musicians, and maybe my least favorite off of the album simply because it felt like a filler track rather than something that could stand on it's own. "Hanging By A Thread" follows suit with prior songs, and has a catchy melody.

"7/4 (What You're Looking For)" is another standout track for Going Back To Sleep as, again, it's really cultivating what I enjoy about Adventure Lost. A smooth vocal track, and an instrumental performance that follows the voice without over-shadowing it. Jack's voice on this track also feels incredibly fleshed out and exciting - between the catchy chorus and the duality of Larry & Jack together, I just love this track.

"Look In The Sky" is another more conceptual piece, dreamy and lush with a soft guitar, it helps bring the listener through the final stretch of the album, and especially into "I Wont Wait (Dangerous)." This is definitely the wind down period of the album, one that begs to wrap up the story that Going Back To Sleep tells. Final track, "Another Life" is a fantastic wrap up, reprise track. One that pulls from chords and progressions from track 1, "Dream of Dying."

Here's an album stream in case we've persuaded you.

Going Back To Sleep is a well-constructed, thought out and divisive concept album. One that is catchy, exciting and a huge step for Adventure Lost as a band. As a two piece, the album sounds and feels thorough, full of sound, and exhilarating. The best way to describe my listening experience with this album is me playing it for a friend, and my friend asking me if there were at least 5 members in the band, and them being shocked that the fullness of sound and complexity was just constructed by two members.

Like, yeah it's that good.

You definitely want to check out Adventure Lost, we've got the album streaming for you above, and you can click the links below to peep their social media for more updates!

Adventure Lost: Facebook // Bandcamp // Soundcloud // YouTube

Trü - S/T EP Review

If you’re not familiar with New Jersey-based band Trü (yes, that’s with an umlaut) then you have until June 9th to, because this self-titled EP by the four piece group is guaranteed to top your summer jam playlist. Or at least make it on your road trip playlist a few dozen times.

S/T EP is a four track alt-rock EP that really gives off 90s vibes, but not the downtrodden, sullen grunge 90s. Instead, it has more of a lighter, almost Weezer-esque feel to it. If you didn’t grow up in the 90s (I certainly didn’t) then you can probably trace the sound back to high school. Hanging out with your friends in a basement, possibly having a few less than legal drinks, and collectively feeling sad with a youthful exuberance; that’s the feeling I get from listening to this album.  For me, it perfectly captures being young, without all the pomp and circumstance of a major label hook heavy synth banger.

Check out the tracklist below!

S/T EP Tracklist:
1. Take A Peek
2. Trouble
3. Kirsti
4. Hand In Hand

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Everything about this band’s sound reminds me of back in my garage band days, only way better written, performed and produced.  The guitars have a raw-ish quality to them, but not “I recorded this with a karaoke microphone connected to my friend’s tape recorder” raw. It’s obvious that their tone was well crafted and honed in. The production all around is actually very well done. The bass is nice and full, the drums come in clear. Everything is perfectly listenable. Even so, they’ve managed to capture the kind of energy and attitude that you’d hear in a crowded basement surrounded by friends.

One thing I will say about the album, however, is that there really isn’t anything particularly complex or technical going on. If you’re the kind of person who likes to hear complex time signatures or wants shred heavy solos, this isn’t for you. But, none of that is needed here. Sometimes all you need to create an amazing song is a few chords and some accentuated leads. My personal favorite song on the album, “Kirsti” has about maybe 5-6 chords total, but the lovestruck teenager inside me absolutely can’t get enough of it. It’s the kind of song you’d put on a mixtape that you’d give to a girl you’re crushing mad hard on, and maybe I might just do that.

Overall, this EP was fun to listen to.  It doesn’t take itself too seriously, but it also doesn’t get so juvenile that it’d be off-putting. If I had to pick the perfect way to describe, I’d say it’s the kind of EP that you can put on the car radio while driving with your friends on a summer day and sing along too.  It’s comfortably sad, and perfect for people who want to listen to sad music without of the dramatics found in other alternative bands.

S/T EP comes out June 9th on Destroy All Monsters Records. Additionally, you can keep up with the band on via Facebook and check out their previous demo release on their bandcamp.
 

Trü: Facebook // Instagram // Bandcamp