debut album

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!

BOTW-Album-Art-Final-FullSize.jpg

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

Haunted Homes - Seance At The Shore Review

Some of The Hook's favorites are making their way back around with their newest releases and we couldn't be more stoked on it! Today we're talking about Haunted Homes, the spooky rock band that integrates entities of cosmic, country and spook all into one beautiful little EP. 

Seance At The Shore is Haunted Homes most recent EP and comes after their February release of "CoastGhost2Coast" and "Spooksville, USA." The 4-track EP follows suit, and addition to the sound that Haunted Homes is working with and perfecting. With this genre blending and nearly conceptual quintet, there's sure to be a song to jam out to on Seance At The Shore.

Check out the tracklist below to follow along.

Seance At The Shore Tracklist:
1. The Rattlesnake King
2. Vacation On The Dead Sea
3. Mischief Night
4. An Evening Of Magic

 

 

 

 

 

What I really dug about this album was the added surf rock elements that Haunted Homes incorporated to flesh out their already solid sound. This EP opens with "The Rattlesnake King" which is most reminiscent of the February 2-track EP. The dreamy, far away vocals fall against the mixed instrumental that fluctuates between spooky and desert. 

There wasn't much I didn't enjoy about this, it seems like a productive growth for Haunted Homes in carving out their own unique sound for listeners to latch onto. We're ready to follow them to the end! Check out a stream of our favorite track thanks to Bandcamp down below!

You can catch Haunted Homes in Philly on August 23rd at Ortliebs with The Whips/Petunia. In the meantime, check out this EP, and check out what Haunted Homes is up to via their social media. We really dug this one, so don't miss it!

Haunted Homes: Facebook // Instagram

Curtis Cooper - Laughing In Line Review

Photography: Lina Xinos

Photography: Lina Xinos

Stemming from Philadelphia, PA - we've previously covered Curtis Cooper in a local feature article a few weeks ago!

Here at The Hook, though, we were excited to also have the opportunity to take a look at Laughing In Line, Curtis Cooper's first full-length album. As we talked about before, Curtis took some old songs he had written (after wondering why he had never wanted to focus on making music he really felt for) and hit up some contacts to help him create his album including Scott Stitzer (drums, production), Jack Zaferes (Bass), Morgane Fouse (Ganou) (vocals on two tracks), and Nick Barnes (engineering). 

With the help from his fellow artists, Curtis Cooper was able to get Laughing In Line completed for release back in January!

The debut album includes 9 tracks, all written and created by Curtis - of course with the help of his collection of artistic minds also. Laughing In Line was the beginning of shows for Cooper - it garnered attraction, and he expressed to me in an interview, "I was able to play my songs, and I really just started doing this way more recently than I should have."

Artwork: Abi Reimold

Artwork: Abi Reimold

Laughing In Line Tracklist:
1. 4 Minutes
2. Today L.A.
3. Happy And Sane (feat. Ganou)
4. Side
5. The Effect
6. Arrest
7. Tonight Is For Me
8. Trouble Again
9. White Lies





There is indefinite agreement with that statement. Laughing In Line is a fantastic collection of sincere and cathartic tracks, which create and utilize sound to create an emotional experience with the listener. This works well, I believe, because the instrumental basis of Cooper's music is generally more upbeat and quickly paced, it is also deceiving in using it's ability to hide the fragility and sincerity of lyrical and vocal emotional movements.

While I love the entirety and complexity of this debut album, a few of the tracks really stuck out to me. My personal favorite is most definitely "Trouble Again," because the lyrics are so smooth and subtle. Curtis' vocal work so effortlessly shapes the motion of the track. 

Some other favorites (if I had to pick, I don't want to) are "Arrest," for it's super stellar guitar work and vocal execution. "Today L.A." because of lyrics like, "How long has it been since I've destroyed my new comfort zone," and lastly, "White Lies," for the super funky and ethereal atmosphere, (maybe due to drug reference, maybe instrumentals, maybe Curtis' voice,) but I loved everything so much on this album.

I couldn't urge you anymore than I am right now to get this album. We have it streaming in our Featured Album section, you can buy it on bandcamp and iTunes, as well as stream it on soundcloud. You should be doing all of the above. At once. Probably.

Rating: 9/10

For more on super awesome musician and all-around cool dude, you can check out Curtis Cooper's links below! 

Also, this Friday (May 13th) at Bourbon & Branch in Philadelphia, Curtis will be playing at JUMP Presents: Queen Of Jeans Residency (Sponsored by Art In The Age)! The show is 21+ - however, sure to be real rad!

You can check out the lineup below!
9:00pm - Curtis Cooper
9:45pm - Ceramic Animal
10:30pm - Queen Of Jeans

We'll have an interview up with Curtis in a few weeks, and you should check back for that, too. It's got a lot of potatoes and a lot of feminism.

Curtis Cooper: Facebook // Bandcamp // Soundcloud

Dreamer & Son - Written Off, Moving On Review

On April 2nd, ambient rockers, Dreamers & Son released their brand new EP!

Written Off, Moving On is a short but substantial release to add to their up and coming discography!

Perfect for the springtime season of new music. The album has a lot of diversity in its sound and should appeal to a few different tastes in modern-day pop/rock. The album starts with a brief instrumental introduction on "Tension" before moving into a power-pop song, "Hello Vancouver,” and seems to be fitting well with the groups desire to “break down genre barriers and build a diverse family; a community based on love and acceptance.”

Written Off, Moving On really hits a high mark with "Sweep.” The lyrics are intimate and emotional, while the hook is most memorable. The sound on this song hits a sweet spot for me and the blistering guitar fill solo at the end is a ton of fun, which brings a lot of energy to the track.

"Everyone Loves the Violins" is another standout track; raw emotion rings out through the lyrics and vocal performance. "Everyone knows I've not slept for days; wonderful things come in horrible ways,” is such a great line.

The album then closes with "Not One Dry Eye" with a catchy hook and melodramatic flair that captures the spirit of the EP in one song.

Check out the track listing below!

Written Off, Moving On:
1. Tension
2. Hello Vancouver
3. Sweep
4. Everyone Loves The Violins
5. Not One Dry Eye







Overall, the EP works to spread out the musicality of ambient rock. There's most likely something here for everybody who is interested. It doesn't fill a niche genre taste because it doesn't really need to. It's a straightforward rock EP and I'd recommend giving it a listen!

Rating: 7/10

Check out the EP (available on iTunes) and follow Dreamers & Son on social media!

Dreamer & Son: Facebook // Bandcamp // Twitter

Rare Futures - This Is Your Brain On Love Review

Matt Fazzi has proven himself as an experienced, weathered and prime-time artist in his most recent project. After time spent with Taking Back Sunday and Atlas Genius, Fazzi has given us a supreme indie rock experimental suit that listeners should be definite in following. 

Rare Futures is Fazzi's side project turned full-fledged goal (and you can check the box mark achieved), and the band just released their debut album This Is Your Brain On Love. The album took a total of five years to create - and here at The Hook we're happy it's finally arrived.

"When I originally set out to make this record, I didn't expect it would take quite so long but life happened and the plan unintentionally morphed and changed several times along the way," explains Fazzi. "My intention is for This Is Your Brain On Love to be a reminder that we are responsible for writing the story of our own futures and creating our own happiness and there's no time like the present to go out and seek it."

The 13 track album is an exquisite and sublime beginning to Rare Futures' adventure as a band - and Matt Fazzi's journey as an artist with a band to maintain. Each track is devoted to Fazzi's above message - enjoy yourself, love life, find purpose and meaning in all that you do!

You can immediately hear in these tracks that the group enjoyed themselves making this album - while Fazzi doesn't have any strictly permanent members yet, he invited different musicians to work on different songs with him - which adds a unique flavor to the songs. Each one sounds different than the one before and after, but you can tell that they all belong on the same album.

This is aided by the fact that Fazzi composed all of the pieces - which gives them this eclectic ideal and theme to stand on, while also allowing for the instrumentals to vary and pace differently (but always smooth.) It also gives this debut album a ton of character that expresses itself more emotionally than some other albums I've listened to from this year!

We can definitely appreciate unique expression here!

Check out this tracklist:
1. Love
2. Reminding Me To Live
3. Ride The Snake
4. Mercury (And Opposite Planets)
5. The Pressure
6. Cool My Mind | Reverie
7. Worst Thing I've Ever Done
8. This Is Your Future [Lost In A Black Hole]
9. Your Past
10. Hope [Feat. Gavin Castleton]
11. You're An Island
12. Standing On The Precipice
13. Not Giving Up Yet

Some of our favorite tracks on The Hook are "Cool My Mind | Reverie," because of it's gentle guitar riff, carried by drum beat and absolutely chill vocal and lyrical work. We also really loved "You're An Island," for similar reasons, but also the exploration of a more electronic synth based sound. This album reminds me a lot of driving in the car over this bridge that overlooks the bay in my hometown - windows open, warm air and sunlight catching the ripples in salt water.

We have the full stream available for you here, so there aren't any excuses about listening to This Is Your Brain On Love!

We're giving This Is Your Brain On Love a giant thumbs up for emotional expression, variety, and overall good vibes - which means you should be checking this album out because it came out on March 25th and is available basically everywhere.

Rating: 8/10

For more info on Rare Futures, hit up their social media below!

Rare FuturesWebsite // Facebook // Twitter // Instagram