Pygmylush have certainly put their time in their scene their ex members list is extensive and well documented. Knowledge of their past endeavors would do little to really prepare one for what you will get upon listening to their music. Know for playing a mix of thrashing punk and hardcore not dissimilar to some of their past bands coupled with pensive folk the band seems to play without boundaries and regard for genre aesthetics.
The songs seem to work on a simple foundation of clean and or acoustic figures coupled with a wilting vocal pattern. This helps to make the loud parts not only jarring but more effective overall to the listener. The emotional heft of their past bands seems to come through much more effectively using this back and forth method. This tends to allow for post-rock style swells incorporating both the instruments as well as the vocals, creating an interesting effect throughout the album itself.
The vocals tend to act as a focal point moaning and soaring within the course of each song. While they don't seem to capture the immediacy of the music on every occasion it does create a semblance of unity within the songs. This allows the music to float around and envelope the listener while not just acting as fodder. The guitars themselves are played with an ear for the song. They never go too deep in one direction so as to ignore the feeling of the song itself. there seems to be less spastic parts on this album as opposed to those in the past allowing the guitars to create a melodic counterpoint to the vocals. This helps the songs move at a more deliberate pace letting them sink in further.
The production is spot on allowing for everything to be heard clearly. There seem to be very little in the way of studio magic outside of faint vocal effects from time to time. This allows for the songs to sound natural and plain rather than leaving the listener to wonder what could be played in a live setting or not.
The artwork just as the production, is unadorned. While the artwork is nice there is very little of it in general.
The best i can say of this record is it is a very well done record. It acts as a very calm counterpoint to their past exploits. While pleasant and effective as an album one can only imagine that the band could have made more of this record. Possibly in the future there will be more room for experimentation or just an out and out campfire acoustic album. Either of the prior options would be an interesting listen and certainly not outside of the realm of possibility for Pygmylush.
7.5 / 10
The metamorphosis is complete. Where Bitter River combined harsh and acoustic tracks, Mount Hope excludes the 'harsh.' In this way, one can view Pygmy Lush's roots, the seminal Pg. 99 ...
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