REVIEW: Hop Along – Painted Shut

3.5 OUT OF 5 NUTS!

hopalong-paintedshutWhether or not you dig Hop Along could come down to one thing, and that’s whether or not you like vocalist Frances Quinlan’s singing.

Quinlan’s voice can be silky smooth one second while being raspy and out of tune the next. There are those who think Quinlan has one of the better voices in music, while some listeners don’t really care for when Quinlan hits the high notes. It can prove to be an acquired taste, and it will go a long way in determining whether you enjoy Hop Along and their new album, Painted Shut. Acquire that taste (which fortunately isn’t too hard), and you’ll find plenty to like about Painted Shut.

The Philadelphia, Pennsylvania band’s roots stretch back to 2005, when they were known as Hop Along, Queen Ansleis. Painted Shut is the second full-length album under the name Hop Along, and it’s gotten the band more of the same good press it got with the release of their first album, Get Disowned.

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There’s unquestionably some good stuff here as Painted Shut has several high points. One is “Horseshoe Crabs,” which brings the best of what Hop Along has to offer — catchy riffs and melodies, soulful singing, and interesting lyrics (“I woke from the dream and I was old, staring at the ass crack of dawn”):

Another is “Waitress,” where Quinlan sings about her experiences working in bars and restaurants around Philadelphia:

“It’s not that I am worried/I just wish you and your friends would leave/We’ve long since closed now/Still you and some others, stick around”

Painted Shut is a strong collection of well-constructed rock songs and one that should continue to get this band some deserved buzz. Any rock fan should at least give them a listen.

Release Date: May 4, 2015


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