“Hospice”, “Radio Wars”
I’ve been listening to a lot of King Crimson and The Middle East (more on them next week), as well as the two albums I’m writing about this week, “Hospice” by The Antlers and “Radio Wars” by Australian band Howling Bells.
If you are interested by The Antlers, go by their site and download some of their free EP’s HERE…
“Hospice” is The Antlers third album and draws lots of comparisons to Bon Iver’s 2008 album “For Emma, Forever Ago”. It was written over the space of a year and a half and the most remarkable thing about this album is its change in style to “In The Attic Of The Universe”, their second album. While “In The Attic Of The Universe” is mostly folk, “Hospice” is largely post-rock and also a concept album.
From what I can gather, “Hospice” was written in response to a time when Peter Silberman (the brainchild of The Antlers) disappeared for a year and a half, which he spent in isolation from friends and family. This is not too different to Justin Vernon’s (Bon Iver) album “For Emma, Forever Ago”.
“Hospice” shows what the internet and new technology have done to music. The album was recorded cheaply and word was spread about it by the way of music blogs. This shows that the internet can greatly benefit artists and technology now makes it easier to record and release music.
The song ‘Kettering’ is one of the best songs I’ve heard for a long time and reminds me of Radiohead’s Amnesiac album. The song is sad yet morphs into a strangely upbeat song and has a very layered recording.
‘Silvia’ is the only real song that doesn’t really fit with the rest of the album and I’m not sure why it does but the album would have possibly benefited without it, but in saying that it does have some merit as a song on its own.
I know I say this about a lot of albums but “Hospice” is a stunning album and I really do feel sorry to anybody who doesn’t listen to it, because it is a masterpiece.
“Radio Wars” is the second album from Howling Bells, an Australian band who are now based in the UK. It’s an up and down album and while the ups are great, the downs are pedestrian at best.
‘Treasure Hunt’ is a perfect start to the album, it one of the better album openers out there. It has a really interesting and unusual drum beat, the song is catchy and easy to listen to. The drum beats on some of these songs are similar in style to some electronica and while the music is totally different, it does make the album interesting to listen to at times.
Another track that utilises an unusual drum beat is ‘How Long’, the final track on the album, it seems to be on the verge of collapsing but it somehow stays together and becomes a song that grabs your attention.
While “Radio Wars” grabs your attention at points, it doesn’t do this enough to be anything more than a good album. It is a good listen though…