I have been following Hammock's short career so far and have enjoyed everything that they have put out. Their 2004 effort Kenotic and the 2005 release of Stranded Under Endless Sky were enjoyable listens that found their way into my rotation once every couple months or so. With their signing to Darla, Raising Your Voice...Trying to Stop an Echo is set to be their breakthrough release. After repeated listens I can safely say, we might have to wait one more release for them to completely come into their own.
If you are not familiar with Hammock, they are a dream pop type band in the vein of Landing circa Sphere or A Northern Chorus. The problem with this new record is that it just doesn't have much substance. The album is an hour and fifteen minutes long, which is a problem. Another large problem with the album is that it is eighteen songs that seem to exist as separate entities rather than being one cohesive piece of work comprised of eighteen songs. There just isn't enough substance to bring all the songs together as a cohesive album and some of the songs just feel empty and effortless.
That isn't to say the album is all bad. There are some really good songs on here. The problem is that the majority of the album is instrumental and the best songs tend to have vocals. The title track stands out to be the best song on the entire album. Other stand out tracks are "Losing You to You," "Shipwrecked (Flat on Your Back)," and "Floating Away in Every Direction," with the latter being the only instrumental track on that list. When the band does employ vocals, they are done very well so I am not sure why about fifteen of the songs on the album are instrumental.
All in all, while Hammock hasn't put out a bad album, they sure haven't put out a particularly great album either. The combination of good songs and all the filler ends up making a rather bland and average record. They have the ability to write some rather breathtaking melodies, but it is going to take them learning to weed out songs and making a much more concise album to really be looked at as one of the better dream pop bands out there.
5.0 / 10
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