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Friday, May 09, 2014

Hallelujah The Hills and the incredible: Have You Ever Done Something Evil?

A BEST OF 2014 SELECTION


DESTROY THIS POEM 

Hey alright, we're cherry picking days till we die
we're building shapes unknown to the eye
we're breathing life into the meteor skies
and I can't even sing

hey alright, can you believe we escaped alive?
Here honey, get into this disguise
they're gonna try and tell us doors have closed
but I say fuck that noise

i'm doing ok I guess
I'll walk with a limp but I'll try to hide it
i'll show up to your party with bandages on
covering every part of my head but my eyes
you'll see me
don't worry
you'll see me
don't worry

Hey alright, I figured out how to sleep through the night
I told you no more revenge but I might
We’ll reinstate some classic spells from the zone
Now let’s destroy this poem

Cuz there's a lotta people saying
that I got no skin in the game
but they're wrong


Hallelujah The Hills arrive at their pinnacle-to-date somewhat unexpectedly this Tuesday (5/13). With career-level performances and stellar, devil-may-care songwriting from Ryan Walsh, that's when the band release their new studio album, "Have You Ever Done Something Evil?" to the world. I am already possessed by the new record.

As a critic second, and a music lover first - I set out this week to discover exactly why this record strikes so many positive chords... Destroy This Poem is a perfect example of personal songwriting elevated to the stars. Self-effacing moments, glimpses into emotional memories and reflections on personal discovery are stacked up like train cars pointed out into the night. This is a brilliant record in an age in which bands make singles.  .

The band's fourth record, each of the band's efforts has progressively gotten better (the last of which, "Portrait Of The Artist As A Young Trashcan", landed them on our annual best of albums list.) So I did have expectations going in.. I did not, however, expect to spend as much time with this new record as I have. (Several listens this week.)

Have You Ever Done Something Evil? has the same dwell, the same power, the emotional upswing and artistic dance as Delta Spirit's 2007 masterpiece Ode to Sunshine, but has a thunder all its own. Walsh, as I have learned, is a pretty reliable narrator. When the band begins it's entrance and Walsh opens the door for us on Phenomenonology, the listener has little choice but to yell out, "shotgun!" and jump into the passenger seat...



PHENOMENOLOGY

I promise to keep this embarrassing
I think I'm doing a pretty good job
without filters I proceed through the mob
telling everyone my every single thought
no reservation, hesitations in sight
it's a decent way to pass through the night

take this take land
the words I use in demand
break through the gate and show them why they are wrong
look at these strange days, the brand new sins are fixing to stay
take this take land
let's pray it's not too bland

Divine times on the dotted lines
Phenomenonolgy!

I came to on the floor
There’s others there with you too
Put yourself in a trance
Your automatic writing’s the best
Dim the lights, enter ghost
Somebody give it guitars
And do not what you're told
just tell us what you're going to do!

Divine times on the dotted lines
Phenomenonolgy!


This is a winning record with a timeless soul and a foot in three decades. It's rich and vibrant without being overblown. And further, I feel it was made for music lovers. Each time I listen I pick up new elements and come to a fresh appreciation for what's unfolding. There will be a west coast tour in the days ahead and lots of press coming about this album. Believe the Hype. My highest praise for a band who can write a lyric like this (from Pick Up An Old Phone): "Pick up an old phone and hear the future coming back for you / We’ll turn to golden tape recorded versions of the truth / Everything is on it’s way."


"This is the best record I've heard in months. Maybe longer," - Ryan Spaulding


May 19, 2014
The Mint
Los Angeles, CA
w/ Eliza Rickman + Palaye Royale

May 20, 2014
Hemlock Tavern
San Francisco, CA
w/ HIJK and The American Professionals

May 21, 2014
The New Parish
Oakland, CA
w/ Don Cat & Pancho San

May 22, 2014
Viper Room
Los Angeles, CA
w/ Burning of Rome

May 24, 2014
TRiP
Santa Monica, CA
w/ Ocean Park Sound System

May 25, 2014
UCB Theatre
Los Angeles, CA
Musical guest on ASSSSCAT

May 30, 2014
Great Scott
Allston, MA
w/ Thick Wild and Tallahassee




HALLELUJAH THE HILLS
Album / Web / Fb / Tw



LIVE PERFORMANCE - I will have Hallelujah The Hills on my radio program this Saturday 5/10. Tune in to The Outlaw Roadshow on WEMF radio at 4pm EST on Saturday for live performances, album talk and more!


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