Summer Hymns – Backyard Masks

by oz on January 3, 2007

Summer Hymns Cover Art

Summer Hymns is a band with a sound exactly like their name describes. On Backyard Masks, they put out light, breezy, summer afternoon harmonies similar to the Pernice Brothers / Scud Mountain Boys with vocals like Romeo Stodart from the Magic Numbers.

The album isn’t bad. On a turbulent flight over the Rockies, it’s calming the nerves almost as well as the Budweiser. I can play it straight through without skipping a single track but that’s just because each melancholy song runs together, with the exception of a piano-heavy instrumental track called “Limousine.” It’s the only unique sound on the album and it really works. If it was an experiment, Summer Hymns should keep pushing the envelope and work vocals into those unique sounds.

“14 Inches of Snow” is another song that has great potential and tries really hard to be something special. It almost breaks out into a nice pop-indie rock tune, but for some reason Summer Hymns keep it toned down and don’t cut it loose. I wish they would. That’s how I felt throughout the entire album. Decent songs that perk my interest, then sort of let me down.

I’ll still listen to their next album in the hopes that they take some risks. Otherwise, they’ll continue putting out albums like Backyard Masks that just aren’t bad.

Summer Hymns – Pity and Envy

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