HIbou - Something Familiar
So much of the music from the past year has been about dealing with depression. It's hard to imagine that so many artists are going through it so hard suddenly, but the overall vibe of music has certainly shifted. I've written about it ad nausea to the point where I'm depressed having to bring it up again, but on this new record from Hibou the mental state is front and center. Look, I'm sure tons of music has had depression at it's core, the search for connectivity and longing, but it's never been the entire crux of an album. On this record Hibou tries to find "something familiar", or something that brings him back to a better moment in time. This record isn't really filled with nostalgia per se, but it isa rock heavy record that feels like a more pop focused version of post-punk. If that description sounds confusing it's because the album is too, you are never quite sure what is coming next, but not in a surprised kind of way, more in the sense that you just have zero footing throughout. Is this a British invasion style rock record? Is it a post-punk deep dive into the human psyche? I don't think Hibou even really knows. You even are treated to elements of showgaze on tracks like "Junipero Love" but then it is shattered by this extremely on the nose pop chorus. "Amethyst" has this glossy neon shine to it bringing in almost electropop vibes completed by the drum machine back, but it has no lift and no spirit, it just feels dull and diluted. His high pitched falsetto also doesn't do the song many favors here.
Hibou picks up the pace on "Fall Into" but again closes with this shoegazey ending that make entirely no sense in the context of the rest of the song. The track itself is the boppy little number and falling into sheer noise at the end is odd to say the least. When I say nothing here is all that interesting I really mean it, this thing just meanders around for almost it's entire run-time. I don't know if He is trying to be a pop version of Slowdive, but whatever He is trying to do it simply does not work. There are very few times on this record where I really even cared to be listening. You may hear one line of music that perks your ears up, but it is shattered by mundane mediocrity. The last track might be the most egregious because it is painfully slow. At least some of the tracks on this record have a little bit of pace and heat to them, but this one just crawls into a anticlimactic ending. There simply is not much here, at any level but at least it isn't offensively bad... at least.
4.0 out of 10