Hop Along – Painted Shut [album review]

by Woody on April 30, 2015


Hop Along feel like one of those bands that I would stumble upon at SXSW and be blown away. Too many times I’ve got home from SXSW and listened to the album from said band and been disappointed. Typically that frustration is born out of the production, or over-production as it may be. Over-production can strangle the life out of a band.

Happy to report that the Philly quartet, along with producer John Agnello did nothing of the sort. Hop Along has a lead singer in Frances Quinlan who has a dynamic, powerful and unique voice. She’s backed by Mark Quinlan (drums), Tyler Long (bass) and Joe Reinhart (guitar) who play a riff-heavy brand of indie rock. You can hear every ounce of strain in Quinlan’s voice throughout the album and I love it. Buffing that out would be criminal. There’s a point towards the end of the track called Horseshoe Crabs where Quinlan is pouring her soul out with her rasping voice, yet Agnello buries it slightly in the mix making her screams seem all the more futile. That’s brilliant shit right there my friends.

Not to be lost amongst all the rockin’ and great production is Quinlan’s outstanding lyrics. Her songs tell stories about every day life. They allow the listener to peer into the protagonist’s life for a brief moment. Whether is be the woman in the abusive relationship in Powerful Man or the woman seeing an ex’s new flame in Waitress; Hop Along does an amazing job in getting you the listener invested in their story for 3-5 minutes.

Apparently Painted Shut has been amongst the most anticipated albums of the year. Well, that was news to me as I hadn’t heard of them until about two weeks ago. After listening non-stop for the last weeks, its easy to see why. And happy to say that if I had been looking forward to it, I would have been more than satisfied.

Follow me on Twitter at @WoodyHearYa

Hop Along is here

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Keith May 1, 2015 at 10:52 pm

Being so plugged into new music coming out I’m always surprised to hear a great new band. It obviously happens all the time, but each time I am still extremely happily surprised. Especially a band like Hop Along, such a different sound and they’re so good.

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