Admit it. You miss the “Take Me Out” days. The “What A Waster” days. The “Letter From An Occupant” days. Jesus, look at you, you even miss the “Is This It” days. Because those were the days when new music generated inexplicable euphoria that made you walk through the streets singing along with Alex Kapranos, chain-smoking into the washed-out faces of passers-by, and feeling that Taylor Swift will never happen.
For all the good music released since then, there’s been a severe shortage of that sort of excitement. So thank God for Hop Along – whose third album, Painted Shut, is a head-spinning rollercoaster ride. It’s criminally good. In fact, I think there should be some kind of law against the savage intensity of this thing. Like, erase a couple of songs from the album. Make the girl sing with less expression. Just tone it down by a notch or two.
Painted Shut. Too good. Charismatic post-punk with guts spilling out, adventurous and, somehow, tight and to the point. Like heavier Throwing Muses with less edge but more swagger, this band has just released an album of the year – even if I don’t remember any of these melodies once the album is over. The sound is one long powerful orgasm, and let’s not even talk about the goddamned vocal performances which are the most fascinating you will hear all year. Rasping, wailing, screaming, and never less than irresistible.
For a while, those days are back. Cherish them.