Visceral and exciting, Hubbell Mountain’s new album, illustrated by the well-known LA artist Brendon Monroe (good freaking grab, guys, I love his work), grabs us by the chest and digs its roots deep inside us. With hi-fi precision and ingenious production quality, this [virus] collection next fuses with our arteries and starts to pump its serious mind-numbing juices into our bloodstream, and finally, after trying to rip our own hearts out, to no avail I assure you, it drowns us in its own frothy, pneumonic harmony; lulling us to our final sleep in a bath of melancholic and deeply personal dreams.
Stereoscope never ceases to be original and interesting, and you’d be hard pressed to find a sour note or imbalance. The changes throughout the record are subtle, but definitely present. The whole thing is so tightly woven, its what I’d imagine Explosions in the Sky to sound like with vocals. Stereoscope starts with Stereoscope, unironically, and it’s a catchy tune with an airy quality to it that lends itself to a certain seclusion and serenity. The track takes its time to move through you, and leaves you feeling clean and hungry.
Observers begins with a fun palm-muted riff and reminds me a little of Jukebox the Ghost in its execution, somehow. It’s a suspenseful song that leaves little to be desired, once again taking its time in buildup and transitioning. Its in no hurry to distort or end. The drum line is really tight, and well tailored to the style of the song, and definitely sticks out.
Out of Body is similar to its predecessors in that its very light-hearted, maybe even more so, but breaks apart with a strong bass line, especially compelling lyrics and a more melodic timbre. It calls to mind Tides of Man in its riffs and drawn out vocals.
Juggernaut breaks the speed up a little bit, a poppier song, not to say that it’s more engaging than the previous three. The drum line sticks out once again, really setting the tone for the whole jam. It shines brightest closer to the end, in the instrumental partition that wraps it up.
Something Blue has been up on their bandcamp, and is definitely a great single that leads with a strong sense of suspense and reserved power, potential energy. That feeling is maintained for the brunt of the song, and the lead guitar takes the stage here with a fantastic set of chords that match up so perfectly with the vocals.
Spheres is a flirty track, definitely pretty reserved, but it packs a strong enough punch. The bass track is nice; it’s strong and comes in well during the instrumental with palm-muted lead riffs. It’s definitely not my favorite song, but I don’t skip it when it comes on.
Lillith lets the keyboard step in before everyone else, and I love the entrance to the track. I think it sets the mood accurately and keeps us on our toes after a sleepier track like Spheres. The fact that it is the only non-vocal track on the album does not damper its spirits, as it is perhaps my second favorite on the record.
Natural Tones is once again a good way to lead out from the previous song. It’s catchy and flows seamlessly, and it’s very uplifting.
Weatherman is more of a lullaby than any of the others, reminding me of the lull I used find in listening to hours of Lydia. This is most likely my favorite track, its well rounded and gets me in a sound state of mind.
Sailing Stones in the contender for number one, tying in with Weatherman; I love the rolling lead riffs and the keyboard accompaniment. The vocal harmonies are on point, and the whole track moves by like a cloud of tranquility, with plenty of emphasis where it is needed but never overcompensated. Like the entire record, this song is very patient in telling its story in an effective and well-worded manner.
Everything Now washes in like high tide to finish up the record, leaving me deeply satisfied and almost melancholy. It definitely has an air of conclusion to it, which I subtle but certainly effective. The ending is spectacular and unexpected, and I was pleased to see the curtains close the way they did.
All in all, Stereoscope is a well-thought out and rejuvenating collection. It’s repetitive, but in a very Zen sort of way. Much like the most recent The National’s album, I find myself spending a lot of time immersed in the consistent and emotional world that they have built, and opening myself up to it again and again. Hope you enjoy it as much as I have! You damn well should.