Hop Along is the band the internet assured me I’d like. I even went over to Piccadilly Records for further assurance, and they all passed me around with the same recommendation. Or they just wanted me to get out of there by saying ‘hop along’. I picked up the album with the fruit bowl on the cover, which one was that? ‘Painted Shut’, that’s the one! So I went home and listened to that album, and time went by. I forgot all about it, for I didn’t find the indie rock shimmer too bright when surrounded by other 2015 albums I stuck it between. My fault, perhaps.
Now it’s 2018, and they have a new one out, and I remember that band, trying to figure out if I liked them or loved them. So here we are with ‘Bark Your Head Off, Dog’, and album title which evokes Yo La Tengo’s ‘I Am Not Afraid Of You And I Will Beat Your Ass.’ Good start, for I can already see the CD case glimmer, even if the case is made out of card.
And it’s not bad, a little folky, warm, a little sad, a little rad. It’s certainly an 8.0 Pitchfork indie rock band, but the sound never matches the title, moments never rise up and take the songs further. It’s hard to love, harder to hate. Play it and no one will complain, ‘One That Suits Me‘ even nips at me a little. It’s that Rod Stewart vocal rasp going on.