Hammock – EPs, Singles and Remixes
Hammock Music – 2013
This is a really cool CD because it gathers a wide collection of music that the band Hammock offers. There’s no mistaking these guys have their own sound and it’s evident on every track they’ve ever recorded. What’s neat about this is that you get remixes of songs off regular length CD releases and some tunes from their EPs.
The first four tracks act as a map or compass for your spirit. This album has the first appearance of the “North West East South” EP, outside of the long out-of-print Hammock-Petillo photobook of the same name (only 287 copies were created and immediately sold out). “North” points you in the right direction to ease all your troubles away. Background noise defines the sound field to give you a glimpse of beauty that conjures the sun shining down upon a snowy landscape. “West” magically embellishes sweet little instrumental vibrations that twinkle like sunlight reflecting off a wet surface. In “East” the music elements push together in the same direction with gentle aura that carries power. “South” wraps the quadrilogy of directional points by taking us ninety-degrees clockwise from the east. Drifting ambience helps steer us to the tip of the horizon.
The inclusion of the guitars in “Sora”, help the fifth track soar above the mix and infuse the album with positive energy. Marc Byrd and Andrew Thompson (Hammock) create an amazing wall of sound in “Stranded Under Endless Sky.”
The beginning of “Birds Flying in Sequence” sets an amazing beautiful, dark-lit mood. I totally get caught up in the sad, maybe even tragic rhythmic pattern of “Always Wishing You Were Somewhere.” The tiny little percussion elements, like the soft hits far back in the mix really heighten this tune.
The guitars are hauntingly tender in “Helios – The Obeisant Vine.” The personification of the Sun (Greek Mythology) is wonderfully captured by the guys. There is undeniable forward motion New Zealand composer Rhian Sheehan helps steer in “Borrowing the Past” that juxtaposes nicely against the second part of the song’s title. Hammock & Sheehan really show their brilliant compositional talent at working together as guitars and other string instruments join together to reach a high musical plateau.
“My Shoulder Covered With Stars” drips with mood. It’s great hearing Steve Kilbey of The Church who is featured in “No Agenda.” The Church is an Australian alternative rock band that first came to my attention when they hit the radio airwaves back in the late-80s with their song “Under the Milky Way.” Then Hammock takes the musical pattern of “No Agenda” further in “Sinking Inside Yourself.”
“Parkers Chapel” has a comfortable long, slow furrow to glide along for it’s seven-minute running time.
The gradual build of “Longest Year” feels natural to the song’s title. Hammock takes their time to construct the systematic arrangement of musical notes that transports you to the emotional goal they intend for you to reach.
I love the song title “Lonely, Some Quietly Wander in the Hall of Stars.” Deep darkness pervades this cue, with just enough light to draw you toward it’s source. There is a reassuring instrumental touch that brings hope.
“One Another” pulsates with joyous togetherness with composition that rises and falls like a breathing heart.” Josh Varnedore collaborates with Hammock to create “186,000 Endings Per Second.” This song is highlighted by a sensational mix of guitar and piano.
“Black Metallic” is a cover of English alternative rock band Catherine Wheel’s second biggest US hit. Soft female vocals are surrounded by distorted electric guitars and Shoegazing ambience. I really like the guitar that sounds like it’s underwater.
The last tune, timEbandit Powles guest stars on a remix of “Geminis in the Country” (original version available on the deluxe edition of Chasing After Shadows…Living with the Ghosts – 2013).
Altogether you get 26 moving tracks that will make your life better by listening to them. Hammock has the power to elevate your mind and soul every time you spin one of their discs. For that important purpose, you should get this album.