I've Visited the Island of Jocks and Jazz

I've Visited the Island of Jocks and Jazz

by The Hospitals
     
 

Following up a covers EP with a second album of all-original songs, the Hospitals embrace the noise-via-Load Records aesthetic through, on the face of it, expected ways. Unconventional/"ugly" mixes, the blunt art-yet-not cover art and design, aggro-spacticism, and so forth. But the flip side of the noise approach has always been aSee more details below

Overview

Following up a covers EP with a second album of all-original songs, the Hospitals embrace the noise-via-Load Records aesthetic through, on the face of it, expected ways. Unconventional/"ugly" mixes, the blunt art-yet-not cover art and design, aggro-spacticism, and so forth. But the flip side of the noise approach has always been a sometimes subliminal fascination with silence and space as the counterpart, and that element, plus a similarly low-key catchiness, is what makes this album stand out a bit from the crowd. Adam Stonehouse's drumming is often a massively rumbling rampage but is rarely messy, but it's his singing that's arguably the band's secret weapon. Often swathed in reverb, he sings but most of the time doesn't scream, sounding more like a bemused, slightly stoned observer instead of trying to drown out or compete with the sheer racket created by himself and guitarists Ned Meiners and Rob Enbom. "Olympic Ghost" is a good example -- the piercing feedback and monstrous riffs are (intentionally excruciating), but Stonehouse sounds almost calm, a contrast not all that far removed from a number of early songs by fellow San Franciscans Chrome. That legendary band also serves as a touchstone musically, in that while everything on the face of sounds utterly deranged there's a core set of hooks and arrangements that anchor everything down, to the point of drum fills on "She's Not There." Meanwhile, the moments of relative quiet -- the drum/vocal-only start to "Moving and Shaking," the fade-up-and-in style start to "Rich People," even the piano chaos adding to "Be" -- further flesh out the approach. For all that, there are moments of total "yup, it's a noise band all right" recognition throughout -- almost title track "Jocks and Jazz" in particular has a solo guitar break that sounds like it was painful to play, much less listen to.

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Product Details

Release Date:
08/23/2005
Label:
Load Records
UPC:
0604197107124
catalogNumber:
71
Rank:
366218

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