\ Hip Displeasure: Hip-D Top 20 of 2006 » #12 » Dirty on Purpose - "Hallelujah Sirens"

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Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Hip-D Top 20 of 2006 » #12 » Dirty on Purpose - "Hallelujah Sirens"

So, I'm pretty sure this album is going to bore me or haunt me, and either way I wont be pleased. I wasn't crazy about this NYC quartet's first EP, Sleep Late For A Better Tomorrow, but I thought I'd at least give this one a try.

What a good choice that was.

Hallelujah Sirens is by no means groundbreaking or inventive. In fact, it downright plagiarizes Yo La Tengo, Of Montreal and Smashing Pumpkins, to name a few. This album seems as much a tribute to the Shoegazers of yore as something new. But, it is fresh. Guitars jangle, but they aren't in your face. Harmonies resonate, but often just out of tune. "No Radio" opens the disc, and it provides an upbeat narrative, complete with horns. "The sun came up, and we left home," sings one of the vocalists (all share lead vocal duties) and you just feel the song build on itself, as layer after layer is added. "Lake Effect" hushes the vocals nearly to a painful whisper, practically, but hits home. "Better to go far away. Better to back up your threats than stay. Better to go while the goin's OK."

The best song on the disc (definition: my favorite) is actually the one that sounds the least like the rest of them. "Marfa Lights" spends about a minute as a nice piano piece with some tinkling chimes and whatnot, before breaking into a Mountain Goats-meets-Ride explosion (relatively so) of fuzzy guitar and machine-gun drums. These guys (and the occasional girl) pride themselves on their collaborative craftsmanship and DIY production, and that effort really comes through. If you like songs that are meticulously produced to sound as though they were thrown together, this album is for you.

An interview in The Deli described the album better than I could: "Dirty on Purpose build songs, yes, but first they build moments. Nearly every track on Hallelujah Sirens has some kind of clarifying moment where all the pieces snap into place and the song elevates to a place beyond. Some of them lasting only a few seconds, these moments are what come to define the album."

This is a good start to what I hope is a long career.

-- Patrick

Patrick's Favorite Track: "Marfa Lights"

This album appeared on the following staffers's lists:

  • stacey (#3)
  • Patrick (#5)


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