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Our Little Hymnal

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Album Review

Everything about the debut album from this New Jersey-based sextet — the band name, the cover design, song titles like "Poor in Spirit" and "Third Selah" — seems designed to make you expect country-gospel. What you get instead is something that sounds like Bono singing lead vocals for a band consisting of members of both Echo & the Bunnymen and Cocteau Twins. The group's primary sonic element is guitars, and lots of them: big, dense, glittery, multi-layered guitars, most of which sound like guitars but some of which sound like other things (flutes, for example, on the lovely "Marylawn Hair"). Lyrics are a bit hard to tease out from the shimmering murk, but based on punning song titles like "Mercy Beat" (which manages to refer to both classic pop and old-time religion), they probably aren't as self-important as singer John Mosloskie's U2-ish delivery might lead you to expect. And there really is a lot of subtly cool stuff going on at a purely musical level: notice the whimsical choral vocals and handclaps on "Captive Train," for example. But there are also a few pretentious low points, the worst of them being the arch and halting "Poor in Spirit." Recommended overall.

Customer Reviews

Jesus Christ, what a find!

I stumbled upon this looking at the new releases section of iTunes and bought it immediately upon listening to the clips. The first couple tracks are particularly great - dense, melodic, very well written and catchy. You just get lost in the music. Throughout the record are hints of Ride, Radiohead, and Jeff Buckley. Such a fantastic find!

Good, really good

Best band I've heard in the past 10 years.

So beautiful

I saw them when they came to Lynchburg and played at a little coffe shop called the Drowsy Poet. There's just so much music in the music, it's great. I don't know the lyrics or anything but the music is really life affirming.


Formed: 2002 in Paterson, NJ

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s

There are two basic types of epic, grandiose music in contemporary indie rock. On one side, there are artists inspired by the likes of U2 and Jeff Buckley, where the vocals and lyrics take center stage and the music is there to support the strong personality of the lead singer. Then there are the post-rock bands, where vocals -- if they're part of the music at all -- are a minimal afterthought, treated as just another instrument: Sigur Rós, Godspeed You Black Emperor!, Do Make Say Think, Explosions...
Full Bio
Our Little Hymnal, Holler, Wild Rose!
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Customer Ratings