"Good Good Desperation"

(Tee Pee Records 2009)Hopewell - Good Good Desperation

Hopewell main man Jason Russo might have his roots in Mercury Rev but things are sounding a lot more distinct these days. And as far as Hopewell is concerned, it is definitely a change for the better. On the band’s fifth full-length release, “Good Good Desperation,” they take the loose and loopy sound of Jane’s Addiction with the dreamy, laidback psych of Dead Meadow. Add the band’s own brand of uniqueness in there and you get an approximation of “Good Good Desperation.”

Opener “Preamble (pt II)” is a gentle wake up that comes on like a sunrise at dawn before kicking things into gear, like on the practically bouncy psychedelic pop of “Island.” Shrill organ sings on the fluid and whimsical gospel of “Seen The Light.” Elsewhere, on the more experimental “10,000 Black Masses (pt I),” a car horn honking serves as the central point as instrumentation builds up around the horn as its blaring increases speed and then fizzles out; while not mind-blowing it adds something different to the album. Drums pound over the relatively more sinister sounding instrumentation of “Over The Mountain” as Russo’s usually whiny sound more commanding and prophetic.

So many of the songs on “Good Good Desperation” sound similar. And that’s not a bad thing in the slightest. The dreamy tones and echoing melodies with steadily pounding rhythms are light and likable. If anything, “Good Good Desperation” sounds like a cohesive unit that makes sense. When and where Hopewell does kick things up a bit, here and there throughout the album with subtle changes and fuller instrumentation, it is the icing on the cake.


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