Hmmm…How can one sum up the sound of Hopewell? Oh wait, I got it! Let’s say…Spoon stirred in a broth of Spiritualized with just a pinch of the Flaming Lips. Fronted by Jason Russo (ex Mercury Rev) Hopewell toss in splashes of artiness while maintaining a canny knack for edgy dream-pop. “Trumpet for a Lung” carries on with a tinge of roughneck jazz in the tradition of Fishbone, with a hollowed drum boom that flows nicely in a progressive and jagged rhythm. “Calcutta” also carries on with some funkified commune-folk music and “Praise Twice” emits a Neil Young vibe in the both the guitar chords as well as in the modulation of Russo’s voice.
Birds of Appetite was produced by Dave Fridmann who has added his golden touch to a laundry list of mind-boggling indie music, so it seems natural that the nectarous balladry of “Sugar in the Honey” evokes thoughts of the Flaming Lips. Meanwhile, the production on “Synthetic Symphony” is cut from the cloth of McCartney’s early ’70s albums that he made with Wings. The song manages to captivate your senses as it is also redolent of a long lost Richard Ashcroft outtake.
The title track opens with a boom, whirling into a psychedelic fluster before it perishes into the state of more hipster-steadfastness in “The Notbirds,” lauded nicely with crafty power-pop. Hopewell demonstrate a gift for jumping from one point to the next on maps of sound, whether it goes from the bittersweet bridges on “Kings and Queens” or all the way to the peevish bossa-nova trot that accompanies the verses of “4AM.” The album ends appropriately with the Americana-laced `Square Peg Teeth,” as The Birds of Appetite stacks unique strata that teeter on the edge of chilly pop sensibilities, whilst maintaining a foggy, but clever wit.
The Secret Machines – Now Here is Nowhere
Spacemen 3 – Playing With Fire
Granddaddy – The Sophtware Slump