Hopping onto the back of the electro-pop bandwagon that the likes of Metronomy, MGMT and Yeasayer have been busy boy-racing around the music scene in the past few years, Hooray For Earth nevertheless bring some freshly pimped synths to this psychedelic shindig.
But it would be an injustice to dismiss them simply as exploitative copycats of this in vogue, synth-obsessed genre. For a start, they’ve actually been plying this particular trade on and off for around 5 years now, including prime support slots for the likes of Architecture in Helsinki and Surfer Blood, yet strangely True Loves is the first full length to emerge from Hooray For Earth during this time.
The music itself is based around the home-recordings of singer and multi-instrumentalist Noel Heroux and, out of the bands name-checked at the top of this review, they come on most like a grown-up version of fellow Brooklyn boys Yeasayer. The catchy hooks are there, the heavily processed stomps and beats, but unlike Yeasayer’s fabulous Odd Blood from last year, Hooray For Earth don’t lark about as if in the thrall of some ecstatic sugar rush, instead swamping their album in some seriously dense and throbbing soundscapes.
Oh yes, they’re definitely less hyperactive than Yeasayer, but what True Loves lacks in playful party abandon it more than makes up for with beefy, anthemic pop hooks. The album bulges with them.
Take Sails for instance. You’d be forgiven for thinking the synths darting hither and thither in the opening seconds of this one are beckoning us towards a euphoric celebration of Ibiza club classics, but then the band barge in with some fine, leisurely pop verses and a stadium-chanting chorus instead. Sounds very confusing but trust me, it works.
And, like I say, it’s all very unhurried, all very precise; you can’t cut loose and go leapfrogging about the place the way you can with Yeasayer or Metronomy.
You’ve also got the song No Love. This time the synths are busy slamming ferociously around in the background when, out of nowhere, comes a most unexpected brass section; as if on a whim someone has come hurtling into the recording studio sporting trumpets for all band members. Again, I make it sound all mental and off the wall, but the band’s blatant deliberation in their approach means this is never the case.
And that is why, overall, the album doesn’t quite grip me in the same way Odd Blood does. True Loves is no doubt a commendably consistent album, which never gets too carried away with its own eccentricities (a bullet of criticism Yeasayer can’t dodge away from) but ultimately you take your thrilling highs alongside your cringing lows with Yeasayer. And because of the striking similarities between these bands, I do find myself craving the same rollercoaster of reactions from Hooray For Earth.
However, there isn’t a bad song in this bunch, and if you’ve knackered yourself out prancing manically to the likes of Ambling Alp and ONE all night, Hooray For Earth will be just the tonic to keep you chanting on into the early hours.
Ch-Check It Out If You’re Partial To – synth-pop; bombasticness; (judging by the shameless amount of times I’ve mentioned Yeasayer, I’ll have to say) Yeasayer; MGMT’s Congratulations album; chanting out a good chorus; ear-piercing noises at random moments… seriously, watch the video below; a band with a big future
Fantastic Track – True Loves